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Visit Isle of Wight launches 2017 Wight in Bloom Competition

Isle of Wight gardeners are invited to celebrate their work and take part in this year’s Wight in Bloom competition launched yesterday (8th May 2017) in the The Chelsea Garden at the Earl Mountbatten Hospice, Newport, Isle of Wight.

Wight in Bloom is an annual community-based competition that celebrates the Island’s diverse range of gardens – from the small space to the large tourist attraction.

Sponsored by Red Funnel and organised by Visit Isle of Wight, the competition encourages gardeners to create colourful floral displays that will make the Island a brighter place to live and visit.

This year there will be 11 categories including:  Best Small Front Garden, Best Large Front Garden, Best Commercial Garden, Best Senior Citizen Complex, Best Young People Initiative, Best Community Floral Project, Best Small Tourist Attraction Garden, Best Large Tourist Attraction Garden, Best Creative Use of a Small Space, Best Edible Garden and New for 2017 Best Water Feature.

Gardens can be entered into the competition from 19th May until the closing date of 30th June.  Judging will take place from 3rd to 30th July when a team of local horticultural experts will visit the gardens to decide the first, second, highly commended and overall winner of The Peggy Jarman Trophy.

Wight in Bloom are supporting the Earl Mountbatten Hospice by purchasing EMH sunflower seed packets to give to entrants of this year’s Wight in Bloom competition. It is hoped that these will be grown across the Island during the summer to support the EMH 35th Anniversary and to brighten up gardens and open spaces.

David Thornton, CEO, Visit Isle of Wight said: “Wight in Bloom is hugely important; it remind us all that a great deal of the Island is on constant show, and we need to look our best all the time. There are many green-fingered experts living on the Isle of Wight, from TV celebrities to groups of eager school children, all of whom help to make the Island look terrific. This annual competition is an opportunity to shine a spotlight on our “Garden Isle” heritage for the benefit of tourists and Island residents alike.”

Entry forms with full details of the categories can be found at the Visitor Centre, The Guildhall, Newport, the Red Funnel website www.redfunnel.co.uk/wightinbloom  Visit Isle of Wight website www.visitwight.pro , the IW County Press Shop and all main Island garden centres.

Wight in Bloom Patron Alan Titchmarsh MBE VMH DL will present the Awards at a garden party ceremony in September.

Wight in Bloom has over the past two years worked with schools to encourage participation into the competition. It has recently developed an initiative to deliver a pilot mentor scheme for new School Garden Coordinators.

Working in collaboration with the RHS Campaign for School Gardening project, Wight in Bloom will assist a team of experienced school garden coordinators and local horticultural experts to provide support to enable less experienced schools to set up a garden project. For further information on how to join the scheme please contact the Wight in Bloom Co-coordinator at bloom@visitwight.org.

Claire Matthews, RHS Campaign for School Gardening said “The RHS Campaign for School Gardening inspires and supports schools to provide children with gardening opportunities to enhance their skills and boost their development. The direct benefits of gardening for children are wide ranging. Registration to the Campaign is free and you can join by logging on to https://schoolgardening.rhs.org.uk/register”.

Kevin George, Red Funnel’s CEO commented “We are delighted to continue our sponsorship of the ever popular Wight in Bloom. The annual competition is a great opportunity for first-time and seasoned gardeners to showcase their skills with categories designed to encourage young people and community groups to take part”.

For further information, please contact Sue Emmerson, Press Officer, Visit Isle of Wight, tel. 01983 521555, ext 29/07766 705672, sue@visitwight.co.uk

-ENDS-

Notes to Editors

The image shows LtoR:   Nigel Hartley, CEO of Earl Mountbatten Hospice, Tom Madge, Head of Marketing at Red Funnel, David Thornton CEO of Visit Isle of Wight Ltd and Nicola Bell and Mel, both volunteer gardeners at the Earl Mountbatten Hospice.

Categories for the competition are:

  1. BEST SMALL FRONT GARDEN (Under 15 metre frontage)
  2. BEST LARGE FRONT GARDEN (Over 15 metre frontage)
  3. BEST COMMERCIAL GARDEN (Public House, Restaurant, Shops, Café, Business, Hotel/Guest Accommodation/Self Catering/ Caravan sites)
  4. BEST SENIOR CITIZEN COMPLEX (Private and Public Sector, Healing and Meditative gardens)
  5. BEST YOUNG PEOPLE PROJECT (Schools/youth groups)
  6. BEST COMMUNITY FLORAL PROJECT (Community Groups, Parish or town councils, High Streets, Church Grounds)
  7. BEST SMALL TOURIST ATTRACTION GARDEN (free to enter and paid admission tourist attractions are eligible)
  8. BEST LARGE TOURIST ATTRACTION GARDEN (free to enter and paid admission tourist attractions are eligible)
  9. BEST CREATIVE USE OF A SMALL SPACE (window box, balcony, hanging basket, recycled objects for containers, vertical planting)
  10. BEST WATER FEATURE (Includes area directly surrounding pond/water feature/fountain only) NEW for 2017
  11. BEST EDIBLE GARDEN (mix of flowers, vegetables and herbs, can be a source of food and a decorative display).

+  Overall Winner of the The Peggy Jarman Trophy

About Visit Isle of Wight

Working in partnership with Visit England, Visit Isle of Wight Ltd (VIOW) is responsible for developing tourism and attracting more visitors to the Isle of Wight.   As well as the consumer website (www.visitisleofwight.co.uk) the DMO also operates a small industry website containing recent research and tourism news along with links to Visit England reports and opportunities: www.visitwight.org

About Red Funnel

Red Funnel is the original Isle of Wight ferry company with roots tracing back to 1820. Based in the UK port of Southampton, Red Funnel carries 2.3m passengers and over 800,000 vehicles on its ferry route between the UK port of Southampton and East Cowes and 1.1m passengers between Southampton and West Cowes on its Red Jet Hi-Speed service.

In addition to ferry travel, Red Funnel is the only cross-Solent operator to offer ferry inclusive bonded holiday accommodation, attraction tickets, festival and event tickets and activity packages. Sub-brands include ‘Red Jet’ (the Hi-Speed passenger only ferry service serving West Cowes) and two food & beverage brands, ‘Steam Coffee Company’ and ‘ReFuel’.

The Company is a founder member of Visit Isle of Wight Ltd, the Island’s not for profit destination management organisation and Red Funnel sponsors or supports most of the Island’s premier events including the IW Festival, Cowes Week, Isle of Arts, IW Literary Festival, IW Newport Jazz Festival, Ventnor Fringe Festival and Wolverton Manor Garden Show as well as a wide range of community and niche interest events.

Red Funnel’s 2017 Charity of the Year is Hampshire and Isle of Wight Air Ambulance.

For further Red Funnel press information contact:

Isle of Wight/Hants
Amy Grinstead
Carswell Gould
redfunnel@carswellgould.co.uk
023 8023 8001
 

About RHS Campaign for School Gardening

The RHS Campaign for School Gardening inspires and supports schools to provide children with gardening opportunities to enhance their skills and boost their development.

RHS Campaign for School Gardening work with schools has shown that the direct benefits of gardening for children are wide ranging:

  • Improves physical and mental well-being
  • Builds life skills such as confidence, teamwork and communication
  • Enhances literacy, numeracy and oracy skills
  • Enriches the entire curriculum from science, maths and geography, to art, design and languages
  • Encourages a better and healthier lifestyle
  • Teaches about the environment and sustainability
  • Helps young people engage with their surroundings better and develop a sense of responsibility