Those behind Boston’s East Midlands In Bloom entry have spoken of their ‘absolute delight’ at winning gold for a second year running.
Last year, the town struck gold for the first time in the competition.
Held annually, it aims to encourage the improvement of surroundings through the imaginative use of trees, shrubs, flowers and landscaping.
Yesterday (Wednesday, September 14), at the awards event in Mansfield, Boston found out it repeated last year’s feat, winning gold again.
A spokesman for East Midlands In Bloom said: “The standards in the large town category were the highest ever seen. Gold award winners in this category were separated by only three marks.”
Boston was also presented with the Judges Award 2016 for the transformation of the open space near B&M.
A variety of partners were involved in supporting the transformation including Transported, Boston Borough Council, Witham Central and Carlton Road Neighbourhood Group, HMP North Sea Camp, Memory Lane, Lincolnshire County Council and Boston Big Local. The enhancement features landscaping improvements and new public art, including a mosaic to raise awareness of dementia.
In addition, Boston West Academy won gold in the East Midlands Best School Garden 2016 and were announced as the overall winner in the category. It achieved a mark of 97 out of 100.
Chairman of the Boston In Bloom committee Alison Fairman said: “Everyone involved in this year’s campaign has worked so hard – many volunteers give freely of their time, effort and expertise only because they love this town and want to make it even better. They have been ably supported by staff from the borough council, especially the parks and grounds team and all those who help keep the town looking clean and tidy. But it’s an even bigger story than that – other organisations such as Transported Arts, Boston Big Local, Thistles Nursery for adults with learning disabilities, private and business sponsors, all those other agencies who take part in the annual Big Boston Clean-up and too many to mention individually; they all make a contribution for the good.
“After last year’s gold, the action we had taken this year on last year’s judge’s comments and the comments of the judge after this year’s tour, we were quietly confident. But you never know for sure until the results are announced. We are all absolutely delighted.”
Coun Claire Rylott, the borough council’s portfolio holder for grounds and open spaces, said: “This is fantastic, a big thank you to everyone who helped make this happen this year. Boston has much going for it if you look beyond the negativity.”
Boston Mayor Coun Stephen Woodliffe, said: “I want to add my congratulations to all involved in these successes. I am especially impressed by the achievements of the staff and pupils at Boston West Academy. It is reassuring to know that the future adult citizens of our town have an appreciation at such an early age of what contributes to making Boston an even nicer place in which to live and work.”
After his judging tour of Boston this year, Jeff Bates, who judged Boston’s efforts last year and gave it its first gold award, said: “It has been nice to see new things. The temptation is to keep things as they are when a high standard has been achieved, but moving on with new projects is a really important part of bloom. The approach is getting a good base and going from there.
“Boston had a good base the year before. It has been a difficult season this year but Boston has embraced the Royal Horticultural Society’s Greening the Grey project with its improvements to Doughty Quay and I have seen continued progress at Pilgrims Patch.”
He applauded the work of volunteers saying: “It is the only way forwards, local authorities simply don’t have the funds.”