The hard work carried out by three Wilmslow groups was recognised at the RHS 'It's Your Neighbourhood Awards' ceremony at the Southport Convention Centre on Thursday, 2nd November.
Friends of The Carrs, a group of volunteers who came together in 2004 with the aim of protecting, maintaining and enhancing the town park were awarded "Outstanding" by the Royal Horticultural Society. This is the top level award IN the RHS 'It's Your Neighbourhood' competition which runs alongside Britain in Bloom and awards community groups for cleaning up and greening up their local environment.
Chair of the Friends Ian Baillie, who collected the award. said "We were delighted to be placed in the top category "Outstanding" for our work in maintaining and developing the natural environment and recreational facilities in Carrs country park. It's been a year of hard work, bashing balsam, clearing drains, mending fences and planting trees and wild flowers, and to receive such recognition from a leading national organisation is really encouraging and a great comfort for our aching backs and broken fingernails."
Meanwhile the Chapel Lane Business Group, in their second year of entry, and Transition Wilmslow were both given Level 4 'thriving' awards.
Julie Dawn Potts commented "On behalf of Chapel Lane Business Group we are thrilled to hear that we have been recognised with a Thriving Neighbourhood Level 4 Award for a second year in a row."
She added "Everyone has worked hard and we have taken on board the comments made to us last year by the judges in order that we raise our game and ensure that Chapel Lane continues to look attractive in order to welcome and attract new visitors to Shop Locally - Get down to Chapel Lane Village Shops and see how attractive shopping locally can be."
Garry Olson, speaking of behalf of Transition Wilmslow, said "Transition Wilmslow is thrilled to win an award in the In Your Neighbourhood category from the Britain in Bloom judges.
"The community garden in The Temp, a park off Gravel Lane, was established in 2011 as a small orchard of ten apple trees and one cherry tree. In the second year three raised beds for vegetables were built as an educational facility that taught people about gardening and encouraged them to go home and grow their own. This fitted with Transition's aims of tending towards sustainability at a local level and of promoting a healthy lifestyle.
"This year saw rapid expansion with six more raised beds giving much greater growing capacity. The educational process continued with Girl Guides, Brownies, Beavers and Rainbows adopting beds, planting seeds, tending the crops and harvesting the produce. When the RHS judges visited in late Summer it was at its best with a large variety of healthy vegetables ready for picking.
"The park is used as a pedestrian link between Moor Lane and Gravel Lane and is a popular playground and dog walking area. Many of these locals have admired the garden and offered to help. This opportunity is open to anyone who would like to join the growing group of volunteers. "
Ruth McNulty, Chair of Edible Wilmslow In Bloom, said "I am delighted that the work of three active groups in Wilmslow has been recognised by the 'It's Your Neighbourhood' Awards for each. For the third year running the work of the Friends of the Carrs has been rewarded but this year their contribution to the health and development of the site has achieved the 'Outstanding' accolade.
"The work of the businesses on Chapel Lane is a demonstration of the ways in which flowers can not only improve the appearance of an area but can help bring a community together and give a shared purpose and they well deserve their award. The Judges were particularly impressed by the continued improvement in this area.
"The lead taken by Transition Wilmslow in growing fruit and vegetables in a part of the Temp has already produced spectacular horticultural results and it is fitting that their contribution has been formally recognised."