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Dartmouth town going for gold with floral show

MONDAY was judgement day in Dartmouth, with the town going for gold in this year’s Britain in Bloom competition.
Dartmouth has entries in both the regional South West in Bloom small coastal town category – champion of champions, and the national awards.
Royal Horticultural Society judges Jon Wheatley, co-vice chairman Britain in Bloom, and Glenn Dale, group manager of environmental services at Oldham Borough Council, spent the morning visiting many of Dartmouth’s floral displays and green spaces.
The intensive tour of the town started at the Dart Marina, and continued along the embankment, via the new greenhouse site to Bayard’s Cove, then along Lower Street, Higher Street and Smith Street – Pillory Square – before heading to the Boatfloat, Duke Street, Foss Street and the Old Market.
Then the judges headed up to the top of town to see St John’s School, Milton Lane allotments and the Welcome beds, before heading back down the valley via the orchard to visit the Anchor bed and new wild flower meadow, residents’ gardens along Coombe Terrace, finishing in Royal Avenue Gardens.
Dartmouth Green Partner­ships spokesman Kathy Stans­field said: ‘The DGP team and many of its supporters were on duty at the various judging points around the town to stress how the whole community is involved.
‘They pointed out the sustainable planting of perennials, grasses and shrubs which form the framework for colourful seasonal displays, and stressed the environmental importance of linking the town’s green spaces to form wildlife corridors.’
Dartmouth Brownies greeted the judges at the Boatfloat, showing off the baskets they had planted.
Shopkeepers, market traders, cafe and bed and breakfast owners came out to say hello and to show off their efforts.
In Royal Avenue Gardens, the RHS judges were met by Dartmouth’s mayor and mayoress, Rob and Di Lyon, and joined the team for lunch with the town gardeners.
Before departing to catch the train to the next judging venue, Mr Wheatley thanked everyone for ‘a lovely day in the golden county’.
‘You have a whole community of wonderful people doing wonderful work’, he told the mayor.
For his fellow judge it was his first visit to Dartmouth.
Mr Dale said: ‘It has been a surprise. The whole community is involved in outstanding work.’
He praised the way the volunteers and local councils worked together in difficult financial times, finding ways to move forward.
Kathy added: ‘Dartmouth Green Partner­ships is very grateful for all the people who gave time to meet the judges, and to all those who made huge efforts to make the town look good for the visit.’

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