The Royal Horticultural Society’s Britain in Bloom competition has roots in British gardening since 1963 – and is continually on the hunt for places and people embracing horticulture to make a difference to their communities.
That’s why residents at Tadpole Garden Village saw an opportunity to take part.
Starting as two friends working to make the most of the ‘blank canvas’ that was Tadpole Garden Village, the Britain in Bloom initiative at the Swindon development has now grown to include 125 residents.
And to top it all off, in 2019, the development received a silver award in the nationwide gardening competition.
Peter Welsh and Stuart Olden started, and championed, the Britain in Bloom entry for eight months in the run up to judging, calling for other residents to support their cause. With the judging criteria focussing on not only horticulture, but community and environment too, Stu and Pete saw an opportunity for Tadpole Garden Village to shine in the competition.
With Tadpole Garden Village already having a growing, engaged community, environmental initiatives such as involvement from the Wiltshire Wildlife Trust and space for beautiful planting, from allotments to spots for flower planters, the development provided a great starting point for the project.
Pete said: “We love living in Tadpole Garden Village and saw the Britain in Bloom competition as another way to bring the community together. We are hoping this award will encourage even more people to get involved.
“Once a month, the Tadpole Garden Village gardening club do tasks like litter picking, weeding, maintenance of the allotment, and general prep work. The club was actually created as a result of our Britain in Bloom assessment! It’s been great to see children and families on the development get involved too.”
Speaking about the involvement of others in the project, Pete explained that numerous stakeholders – including Preim – had been a great support:
“Preim has really helped to champion the initiative, with funding and our development’s account manager, Simon New, not only helping us to get an allotment from the Community Interest Company, but also providing the funds for it.
“Our Preim community mobiliser, Chris Tanner, has been brilliant in putting us in touch with the right people and Crest Nicholson has been a great help in providing funding for things like spring bulbs, high vis vests and more.
“It’s all been a real team effort from the community and stakeholders to get us where we are.”
Speaking about his support for the Britain in Bloom project, Simon explained: “When Pete first asked me about entering Tadpole Garden Village, I immediately thought it was a brilliant way to engage the community and make the most of the brilliant green and open spaces at the development.
“I was keen for Preim to get involved and it has been an absolute pleasure to help with funding and in helping Pete and Stu to utilise the support of the Community Interest Company.”
Managing director of Crest Nicholson strategic projects Andrew Dobson said: “When Peter and Stuart approached us about entering Tadpole Garden Village in the Britain in Bloom competition, we were more than happy to help.
“Not only does this demonstrate the pride residents have in their community, but it’s a great way to engage more residents and introduce them to wildlife in the local area.”
Speaking of the judging for the 2019 awards, Pete noted that the judges were impressed with the development’s use of open and green spaces, involvement from the Wiltshire Wildlife Trust, the support of the Community Interest Company and Crest Nicholson, along with Preim’s ongoing maintenance and placekeeping work:
“The Britain in Bloom entry hasn’t just pulled us together as a community, but it’s also seen us work with a community down the road who has supported us. They’ve received Gold Britain in Bloom awards before, so their expertise and guidance were invaluable.
“It’s onwards and upwards for us as we head towards the 2020 awards. We’ve been busy preparing planters for around the development and we have lots more community initiatives lined up!”
If you are living in a development with Preim as your managing agent, and you would be interested in learning more about putting together your own entry into Britain in Bloom, please do get in touch with us at Preim via [email protected] – we would be delighted to support you!
For more information on Tadpole Garden Village, and the work Preim delivers for the community, take a look at our garden village case study. Alternatively, if you are a Tadpole Garden Village resident and would like to learn more about the Britain in Bloom project, take a look at the TGV in Bloom Facebook Group.