17 September 2018
The Parish Council was approached towards the end of 2017, inviting us to enter a new, non-competitive category for Parishes in the In Bloom competition. We viewed this process as an opportunity to get some expert feedback from the judges, and with no entry fee, there was literally nothing to lose!
A team of wonderful villagers prepared for the day of judging in mid-June, and an equally fantastic group gathered to show Ruth Growney, our judge, Brockham’s ‘best bits’. She toured the school, with children showing her the eco-field; she met Reception children at the Wheelers Lane allotment and she toured the church garden and met children from the nursery who showed her their planting. We took Ruth to see the Strood Green shop and the Village Pond. She had coffee in the Royal Oak and a whistlestop tour of photos of Brockham past and the bonfire through the years, before strolling back across the Green to visit the village pump and hear about the time capsules. Ruth enjoyed seeing the efforts of individual residents through their gardens, window boxes and baskets and she asked many questions about BERT, Teas on the Green, Open Gardens and much more.
The judging criteria concentrates on three main areas: Community Involvement, Environmental Responsibility; and Gardening / Horticulture / Conservation Achievement. At the awards, we received detailed written feedback to inform our future efforts:
“Well-kept front gardens were much in evidence and with that comes a sense of pride in the village.”
“The Brockham Bonfire was described as, ‘A mammoth community effort.”
“BERT is to be commended for its contribution to the village. The community email […] provides a brilliant service for local people and is much appreciated by the community.”
“In this village […] there is no doubt that community spirit exists in abundance with a huge number and variety of community projects taking place each year.”
Brockham was awarded 82 points and a Silver Gilt certificate, an extremely pleasing result from our first foray into the In Bloom competition as a Parish.
Very many thanks to everybody who litter picked, weeded and tended their garden and especially to the hundreds of community volunteers who help to make Brockham what it is.
Particular thanks go to:
Bob Bartlett and all at BERT
Mrs Douglass, Mrs Ottaway and Miss Mackay at North Downs Primary School
Mary Rode, School Governor
Staff and Children at Brockham Green Nursery
David Shanks and his Church Garden team
Jacqui and the team at The Royal Oak
Trustees of The Reading Room
All at Chittys Butchers