Champion of Champions invitation a great honour

FOLLOWING Herm’s gold award at Britain in Bloom, the island has been invited to take part in the RHS Champion of Champions competition.

Britain in Bloom judges Nigel Bishop and Sue Wood are shown around the school garden by former head girl Morgan Jones.
Britain in Bloom judges Nigel Bishop and Sue Wood are shown around the school garden by former head girl Morgan Jones.

FOLLOWING Herm’s gold award at Britain in Bloom, the island has been invited to take part in the RHS Champion of Champions competition.

This is a great honour, as the invitation is extended only to communities that consistently achieve high standards and it is a privilege to even be considered. Herm’s invitation follows gold awards in the 2002, 2008 and 2012 Britain in Bloom competitions.

Entrants are judged on three key criteria – horticultural achievement, community participation and environmental responsibility.

The judges’ report for Herm says that ‘the whole population is involved in the campaign, from the playgroup through the generations, and the pride in the island shines through’.

This year Herm also jointly won the Tourism award, which recognises the best use of Britain in Bloom initiatives to attract tourism to the region. This was one of the discretionary awards, which, according to the RHS, are given to ‘communities and individuals who demonstrated excellence in a particular area of the campaign’.

Gardeners Brett Moore and Roseanne Wheeler, along with Herm’s estate workers, fought against the elements during an unseasonably wet summer to keep the island in award-winning condition.

One thing that always impresses the judges is the island school. The children are always ready with interesting presentations, accurate research and examples of their horticultural knowledge, all presented in the school’s tiny but well-kept garden.

‘It was wonderful to hear about the projects undertaken throughout the year, in particular the project based on the Olympic rings,’ said the report.

Judges Nigel Bishop and Sue Wood were both visiting Herm for the first time and their judging comments are full of positives.

‘This island shows what Bloom can do for a community by bringing everyone together to work and play – a fabulous team effort.’

The communities nominated for the 2013 Champion of Champions alongside Herm are North Berwick in Scotland and Lytham, which are also in the small coastal category. Also nominated are Halstead in Anglia (town) and Stanghow in Northumbria (small village).