The national Britain in Bloom competition recognises communities of all shapes and sizes with a focus on three main criteria: horticultural excellence, environmental responsibility and community participation.
We Are Weymouth, Weymouth Town Council, Dorset Council and volunteers have worked tirelessly to get the town ready for the judging. With improvements to the train station, floral boat installations, hanging baskets, the Quay regeneration, Heritage Slabs and the sculpture trail, there was much to show the judges.
A new route was taken this year, as a way to show more of the town to the judges and ensure that improvements made to the whole town were recognised, rather than visiting the same area year on year. The 2022 route began at the Peace Gardens meeting the volunteers there. Then the group, including the Mayor Cllr Ann Weaving, walked via the Nothe Tavern and the garden steps through the South Harbour via the old town pump and Old Rooms showing the heritage slab installed there plus the baskets and flags in Cove Passage. The team continued over the iconic Town Bridge and took in the regeneration of the South Quay. Next they met Chef Eric at Les Enfants Terribles and enjoyed a cup of coffee before looking at the newly planted pots along the harbourside and the recently installed planted boat.
The judges then enjoyed a trip via the land train to appraise the businesses along the Esplanade and despite the thunderstorm, enjoyed the beach and Brunswick Terrace, plus planted beds along the promenade, ending the tour at Weymouth’s famous Greenhill Gardens. The team were proud to show off all of the improvements made throughout Weymouth in 2021 and 2022, including the nearly completed Gateway Station and Pocket Park.
Dawn Rondeau, We Are Weymouth’s Chief Operations Officer comments: “This is the second time that we have entered Weymouth into the Britain in Bloom competition and we have been incredibly proud to show the improvements and progression made throughout the town – in just 12 months! This has been a real team effort with We Are Weymouth working closely with Weymouth Town Council, under the leadership of Tara Williams, to really push forward with our commitment to improvement as well as sustainability. As well as the hanging baskets provided to businesses throughout the town, we’ve added boat planters, more heritage slabs to celebrate the town’s history and highlighted the work of the volunteers and the parks and gardens teams who have been committed to maintaining the flowerbeds, palm beds and grasslands throughout the town. Thanks also to Dorset Council who supported Britain in Bloom with additional repainting, bin removal and deep-cleaning.
At We Are Weymouth we are committed to our role in ‘improving’ the town, whether this is working to remove graffiti in the town, providing hanging baskets or pioneering the Heritage and Mural Arts Trails.
We hope that locals and visitors can see all the work that’s gone into the town and feel as proud as we do.”
Since its beginnings in the 1960s, Britain in Bloom has showcased the very best of U.K. communities in bloom and now encourages community projects and partnerships across the country. With participation this year spearheaded by We Are Weymouth, organisers hope to see Weymouth put on the map and awarded highly in the competition.
Photos courtesy of Loving Weymouth and Portland