Ards And North Down Council Launches Bloom Competitions

Ards and North Down In Bloom Community Competitions Launched!

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Ards and North Down In Bloom Community Competitions Launched!

Ards and North Down Borough Council has launched this year’s Ards and North Down In Bloom campaign and community competitions to coincide with National Gardening Week (26 April – 2 May).

Volunteers from the Millisle Health and Wellbeing Group helped to launch the ‘In Bloom’ community competitions and are encouraging residents in the Borough to get involved for the chance to be recognised for their excellent gardening skills.

There are a number of different categories that cater for all ages with great prizes available for winners and runners-up in each. Categories include Best Kept Front Garden, Gardening for Wildlife, Best Kept Commercial Premises and Best Kept Community Planting Scheme.

There are competitions specifically for young gardeners too, including the Painting Competition, the hotly contested Tallest Sunflower Competition, and new for 2021, the Best School Garden Project.

The Mayor of Ards and North Down, Councillor Trevor Cummings, is pictured outside Millisle Masonic Hall with Millisle Health and Wellbeing Group representative Kaye Boyle. The Group won the runner-up award in last year’s Ards and North Down In Bloom ‘Best Community Planting Scheme’ category. (Image: Graham Baalham-Curry).

The Mayor of Ards and North Down, Councillor Trevor Cummings, said: “Over the last year, we have come to rely on our gardens and green spaces more than ever. Gardening is good for you and many of us have rediscovered the importance of connecting with nature for our mental and physical wellbeing.

“Launching the In Bloom competitions in conjunction with National Gardening Week, and with the enthusiastic members of Millisle Health and Wellbeing Group, provides the perfect opportunity to raise awareness of the benefits of gardening while also encouraging our residents to help make our Borough bloom once again.

“So I am throwing down green gauntlet to everyone; you can do your bit by filling a hanging basket, planting a colourful shrub, sowing wildflower seeds or installing a nest box. There is something for everyone to do to ensure our Borough looks its best in 2021.”

The community competitions encourage everyone who lives or works in the Borough to think about their local environment and how attractive flowers, plants, trees and gardens can enhance it. By actively supporting this competition, entrants will not only make their garden or business more attractive but they will also contribute to the Borough’s entry to the Translink Ulster in Bloom Competition and other regional awards.

Applications are welcome from all residents and entry is free. You can even nominate a neighbour’s garden or other local properties that you think deserve recognition!

For more information, visit:

 ardsandnorthdown.gov.uk/inbloom

Millisle Health and Wellbeing Group: Members of the Millisle Health and Wellbeing Group have worked with their local primary school and groups from other areas in the peninsula with the aim of promoting health and wellbeing.

In 2019, they built a polytunnel close to the Millisle Masonic Hall, allowing volunteers to grow their seeds at home before bringing them to the polytunnel to plant into pots in preparation for sale. These vital funds help the group continue their great work and during 2020, and they made a donation to the NHS while also providing ‘goodies’ to local care home staff and those who work in ‘Care in the Community’.