The City of London Corporation has won Gold in the Town category at the RHS Britain in Bloom 2018 national awards.
The City Corporation’s City Garden’s Team was praised in particular for its collaboration with community groups and businesses who are promoting biodiversity and protecting wildlife across the Square Mile.
The 54th Britain in Bloom competition, organised by the charity Royal Horticultural Society (RHS), is the largest horticultural campaign in the United Kingdom. First held in 1963, Britain in Bloom is a year-round competition that allows groups to compete on a regional or national level by using gardening to transform their communities. Groups are assessed for their achievements in three core pillars: Horticultural Excellence; Environmental Responsibility; and Community Participation.
Over 1,600 communities around the UK enter each year, participating in their local region’s “in Bloom” campaign, with 76 finalists across 12 categories from rural villages, urban corners and city centres.
The City of London Corporation manages over 200 small green spaces in the Square Mile, creating a network of gardens, churchyards, plazas and highway plantings. These include 10 Sites of Importance for Nature Conservation, which are designated for their importance for wildlife and for people to experience nature.
Graeme Smith, chairman of the City of London Corporation’s Open Spaces and City Gardens Committee, said:
“The Square Mile is a unique, intense and challenging urban environment.
“I’m delighted that the hard work of our City Gardens staff, residents and volunteers have been recognised for their efforts in protecting these valuable resources in the heart of the capital.
“Britain in Bloom is about celebrating and recognising the passion we all have for a cleaner, greener city. And we are absolutely dedicated to providing a unique green sanctuary here for everyone who works and lives in the City.”
The City of London Corporation protects and conserves 18 green spaces in London and south east England – including two ancient woodlands – and over 200 smaller ones in the Square Mile. They include important wildlife habitats, sites of scientific interest and national nature reserves. They are protected from being built on by special legislation.
It funds green spaces across the capital and most of its sites, which are run as charitable trusts, are run at little or no cost to the communities that they serve. They are funded by over £29million a year from the City of London Corporation, together with donations, sponsorship, grants and income generated on site.