Ahoghill blooms ahead of judging

James Perry (seated far right) and green fingered volunteers from Ahoghill Traders' Association are getting blooming ready for the judging stages of the Royal Horticultural Societys Britain In Bloom competition. (Submitted Picture).

James Perry (seated far right) and green fingered volunteers from Ahoghill Traders' Association are getting blooming ready for the judging stages of the Royal Horticultural Societys Britain In Bloom competition. (Submitted Picture).

Ahoghill in Bloom team volunteers are keeping their green-fingers crossed as they get ready to greet the RHS Britain In Bloom judges on August 3.

Last summer 72 locations were selected to represent their region/nation in this year’s finals, each hoping to be announced category winner at an awards ceremony in Birmingham on October 14.

Ahoghill is in the ‘Champion of Champions’ category, facing steep competition from Lytham, St Pierre du Bois, Birmingham and Durham.

Ahoghill’s hardworking horticulturalists will welcome judges on Wednesday to survey the area which has been preened and pruned to perfection for the competition.

Judges will take into consideration three key criteria: horticultural achievement, community participation and environmental responsibility, demonstrated across public spaces such as town or city centres, parks and communal gardens, as well as natural spaces including conservation areas. Each entry’s final score also takes into account a whole range of complementary factors, from the condition of street furniture to the engagement of young people in Bloom activities.

James Perry from Ahoghill Traders’ Association, which co-ordinates the Ahoghill In Bloom initiative, said: “We have won many awards over the years, including 2015 Translink Ulster in Bloom Best Small Town, but were especially pleased to qualify for the Champion of Champions category this year and we hope this will be Ahoghill’s year. We have been very much inspired by the RHS 2016 theme of ‘Greening Grey Britain’ and have planted over 5,000 flowers this year, as well as carrying out major improvement works throughout town including our new community garden. Our volunteers have put in a great deal of time and effort and we hope it all pays off at the judging on 3rd August.”