There was cause for celebration as Ahoghill was named the Royal Horticultural Society (RHS) Britain in Bloom Champion of Champions at a ceremony last night.
The Co Antrim town was given the accolade at the RHS’ 2016 Britain in Bloom Awards Ceremony hosted by TV Gardening Expert Chris Beardshaw. Ahoghill was also awarded a Gold medal for their entry.
Representing the Ulster region, Ahoghill was one of only six areas from across the UK chosen to compete in the coveted Champion of Champions category of the awards and its success confirms its position as arguably the cleanest, greenest and most beautiful small town in the United Kingdom.
The RHS Britain in Bloom Awards ceremony celebrates the huge contribution made by the 300,000 Bloom volunteers whose hard work and dedication help transform what are often grey and unloved areas into greener, cleaner and more beautiful spaces for everyone to enjoy.
Over the summer, teams of RHS judges travelled the length and breadth of the country to see the 72 finalists’ Bloom campaigns to determine who would lift the top prizes. Each finalist was assessed against three key criteria: community participation, environmental responsibility and of course, horticultural achievement.
Chairman of the UK Judging Panel, Roger Burnett said: “This has been a truly outstanding year for Britain in Bloom with local communities devoting tremendous amounts of time and effort into greening grey areas and sharing the many health and social benefits of horticulture.
“The judges were very impressed by the way communities refused to let the many challenges they faced hold them back. The finalists’ desire and determination to make their environment as green and pleasant as possible was truly humbling.
“We as judges are privileged to have a front row seat to see Britain in Bloom volunteers change the lives of thousands through their work. And it’s fitting that their efforts are recognised and celebrated.”
The 72 Britain in Bloom finalists were vying for Gold, Silver Gilt, Silver or Bronze medals, category winner awards and discretionary awards for achieving excellence in particular fields.
For the first time the RHS introduced a special award to recognise areas that have overcome adversity, such as flooding or vandalism.