Floral Guernsey definite entries dip to just two

JUST two definite entries have been made for this year’s Floral Guernsey annual community competition, as numbers have slumped.

Judges Dave Stuart from Floral Guernsey and national judge Rae Beckwith, from Britain in Bloom with the Royal Horticultural Society, visiting St Andrew’s Douzaine room to judge the floral decoration outside the building. (Picture by Luke Le Prevost, 30996919)
Judges Dave Stuart from Floral Guernsey and national judge Rae Beckwith, from Britain in Bloom with the Royal Horticultural Society, visiting St Andrew’s Douzaine room to judge the floral decoration outside the building. (Picture by Luke Le Prevost, 30996919)

St Saviour’s and Alderney are being judged this week, while Herm is hoping to but cannot confirm.

The competition is designed to encourage the Bailiwick’s communities to work together to improve their local environments.

The winner will be nominated as the Bailiwick entrant in next year’s Britain in Bloom competition, organised through the Royal Horticultural Society, where they will compete with entrants from 12 English regions plus Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland, Isle of Man and Jersey.

Floral Guernsey chairman and community competition coordinator John Woodward said the competition did still have a value, but numbers had been dropping.

‘We used to have six entries per year – I would love to have had more this year.’

Mr Woodward said Covid was one of the main reasons why numbers have decreased, as people were not inclined to organise into community groups as much as they previously were.

‘Since Covid, people have not yet got back into a routine,’ he said.

‘People are acting more individually and have changed their lifestyles and priorities.’

Despite there being a lack of entries for the community competitions, Floral Guernsey has received a significant number of entries for its community awards.

The community awards are open to all individuals and communities to recognise outstanding people and features.

Mr Woodward said that people would rather enter for a community award rather than for the competition due to the extra work it would take, especially if they were then entered into Britain in Bloom.

‘Some parishes don’t want to enter the competition due to the work that has to be put in,' he accepted.

‘They have to complete extra paperwork and forms, for example. However, I think the competition gives the parishes focus, publicity and sponsors.

‘Volunteers don’t receive as much recognition for the work they put in when they only enter for the awards.’

Mr Woodward does not know if the numbers for the community competition will ever increase to as high as six entrants, however has hopes that numbers may increase again in the future.

He said that after coming out of lockdown, being able to see multiple flower arrangements in various island-wide locations lifted people’s spirits, and motivated them to start gardening.

‘Just being among nature has a very beneficial effect on people’s mental health. There is evidence in both the UK and Jersey that interest is increasing. Hopefully it’ll be the same in Guernsey.’

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