OLDHAM BOROUGH is blooming as it prepares to take part in the Champion of Champions category in the Royal Horticultural Society (RHS) Britain in Bloom UK Finals 2017.
Oldham joins 78 other regional winners in the competition, with only the top seven competing in the Champion of Champions category.
The borough was chosen thanks to its commitment to environmental responsibility, high levels of community participation and outstanding horticultural achievements.
This year’s RHS theme is ‘Greening Grey Britain’ and the WOW bed centrepiece in the town centre will once again be a showpiece to be proud of.
Along the judging route, starting this year at Lydgate, will be new wildflower meadows and beehives, as well as a biomass set up in Alexandra Park.
More than 200 trees have been planted across the borough and in June 130,000 bedding plants will be put in place, complementing the 35,000 spring bedding plants already gracing the town.
In August, RHS Britain in Bloom judges will tour the borough before winners are announced at the awards ceremony in Llandudno, North Wales on 27 October.
Special awards that recognise excellence in a particular area, such as protecting the local environment, getting young people involved in gardening, or overcoming adversity such as flooding or vandalism, will also be up for grabs.
Councillor Barbara Brownridge, Cabinet Member for Neighbourhoods and Co-operatives, said: “We are absolutely thrilled to have been included in the Champion of Champions category at this year’s Britain in Bloom Awards.
“This special recognition is a credit to the constant combined effort of our environmental services team, community groups, residents, schools and businesses involved in ensuring the borough looks at its best.
“The pride taken in looking after our borough is admirable; hopefully, the judges will appreciate all of our hard work when they come to town.”
Andrea Van Sittart, RHS Head of Community Outreach said: “Congratulations to Oldham on reaching the UK Finals of this year’s RHS Britain in Bloom campaign.
“To represent their region on the UK stage is an incredible achievement and shows they are already at the top level of community gardening, going the extra mile to improve their local area and make it cleaner, greener and more beautiful for everyone.”
Now in its 53rd year, Britain in Bloom has evolved into a UK-wide campaign that brings communities together while promoting the environmental and health and wellbeing benefits of gardening.