Wisbech goes for gold as BBC film projects for the town's Anglia in Bloom bid
Volunteers across Wisbech have been busy preparing for this year’s Anglia in Bloom judging - and all their hardwork has been captured on camera.
The BBC has been following three projects linked to the Anglia in Bloom competition which volunteers have been working on this year ready for a new television series to be screened in the spring.
Penny Stocks, secretary of Wisbech in Bloom, said the town is one of 15 chosen by the BBC’s Britain in Bloom series and the camera crew have been following their efforts over the past few months.
The crew were in town on Friday for a pre-judging shoot. Judging is due to take place tomorrow (Thursday) and the town is also in the running in the Britain in Bloom competition, which will be judged on August 3.
Once again Wisbech is aiming for gold in the Anglia in Bloom and Penny said: “We have had 10 golds in a row, so we really want that again this year. We don’t want silver gilt if we can help it, we know there will come a time when we might miss out on gold, but we hope that won’t happen this year.
“It has been a real challenge this year because of the dry weather and we have tried to ensure we water responsibly.
“We have had to water the new community orchard in the town park because we have £13,000 worth of trees and they need nurturing this year so they get established.
“We have been using water collected in butts off the Clifford Cross Auction roof, which has been good.”
The town has seen new displays involving old cycles dotted around and the BBC has been filming work to create the beach garden in St Peter’s Church gardens, the new orchard and also a project at Peckover School aimed at involving young families especially migrant families, where a number of themed gardens have been created.
“Part of the angle of the programme is we try to get the migrant population more involved and we have had quite a bit of support in that from the Rosmini Centre,where they have made bug box kits for our orchard.
“In Bloom itself has three judging criteria: horticulture, environment and community. Obviously horticulture is the plants and I think the hanging baskets, particularly in The Crescent are some of the best we have ever had.
“The bug boxes will help with the environment aspect providing places for insects, but that also involves litter and street furniture and things like that. We have been out this week painting bollards and cycle racks in the town centre.
“In Bloom also wants to see as many aspects of the community taking part as possible. Again the Rosmini Centre with the bug boxes have helped with that, the kits have then gone to the Rangers and Explorers (older guides and scouts) to be assembled and residents at Lyncroft care home have painted them and of course the project at Peckover and also a similar project at The Orchards school have also helped with the community aspect.
“One thing I would like to point out is the hard work of our chairman Brian Massingham, he puts in more hours than anyone working a full-time job. Without him and his commitment and drive we would not have achieved half so much.”
Volunteers will be out early tomorrow morning giving a last check over and Penny said: “It would help if members of the public picked up litter on their way to work to help give the impression of a tidy environment."
Children at the Orchards Academy in Wisbech already know what it’s like to come face to face with the Anglia in Bloom judges having had a visit from them last Friday.
The judges met the ‘Litter Bugs’ the school’s after school club who have collected plastic bottles and made a greenhouse out of them with the help of Ben Newton and volunteers from People and Animals.
Reception pupils chatted with judges about the planting they have been doing and were very excited to show the judges the butterflies they were learning about as part of their extended curriculum.
Lyn Johnson, of the school’s wellbeing team, said: “Judges were blown away spending time with the children, they were very impressed by the children’s passion and care regarding the environment.
“Some children enjoyed eating a buffet lunch at the Oasis Community Centre and were happy to chat with other Waterlees volunteers and judges about their work.
“We would like to thank all the children involved, People and Animals and English Brothers LTD for their involvement with the project.”