Elswick vying to regain Champion prize
Elswick is among five North West finalists competing in this year’s RHS Britain in Bloom competition.
The Fylde village which was Champion of Champions in 2017 is up against Barnoldswick, Blackburn, Congleton and Croston.
Now in its 56th year, 70 competition finalists will be going all-out to showcase their horticultural skills, community and environmental efforts and be recognised as as one of the cleanest, greenest places in Britain.
Finalists are put forward to the UK final based on their progress regionally and compete across 11 categories, including village, town and coastal.
Each will be visited by a pair of RHS judges in August as they vie for a medal, a category win and to be named Champion of Champions.
Nearly two-thirds of finalists are participating in town, city or other urban categories, reflecting growing recognition of the importance of plants and green space for both wellbeing and the environment.
Last year, the competition was won by the Scottish city of Perth which impressed with its whole-community approach to sustainability, pollinator-friendly planting and campaign to raise awareness of and collect plastic waste.
Darren Share, chairman of the Britain in Bloom judging panel, said: “We’re noticing more towns and cities keen to tackle some of today’s most pressing challenges by tapping into the benefits of urban greening, with reasons ranging from concerns about our changing climate and air pollution to turning the tide on high street decline.”
The Champion of Champions title, winners of each category and finalists’ medals – ranging from gold to bronze – will be announced in Manchester in October.
Elswick is already a reigning Lancashire best kept village champion and when it won the RHS' supreme crown in 2017, Paul Hayhurst, chairman of Elswick Parish Council and Elswick in Bloom co-ordinator, called it "a real David and Goliath story" and paid tribute to "the hard work of volunteers in Elswick who have transformed our village".
Lytham was RHS Champion of Champions in 2013.