Ramsgate prepares for a blooming brilliant competition bid

The harbour area is included in the entry Photo by Brian Whitehead

Ramsgate in Bloom has entered the harbour area of the town to the South & South East in Bloom competition for the first time.

The idea was put forward by PCSO John Litchfield who, along with Cllr Becky Wing and volunteer Davena Green, met with the South East in Bloom coordinator and some of their judges in February.   The group was advised to enter the ‘Small Seaside Town Category’ with a limited number of residents and so chose the harbour area from the Sailor’s Church in Military Road to the turning circle in Harbour Parade, up to Albion Gardens cutting across the town to include parts of Harbour Street, York Street, Leopold Street, Nelson Crescent and Westcliff Arcade.

Everything changed at the end of March due to the pandemic but Britain in Bloom (South and South East in Bloom) has decided to continue with the national competition with ‘desk top’ judging taking place for 2020.

Town Promoter, Rebekah Smith, said: “I am so pleased that John has pushed to continue with Ramsgate’s entry this year and hope that lots of our local businesses will rise to the challenge and help us win an award.

“Entering as a ‘Small Seaside Town’ is a great starting point for us to build upon and we hope to add more sections of the town over the ensuing years which will take into account the efforts and results achieved at Winterstoke Gardens, West Cliff, Ellington Park, Montefiore and other areas that are cared for by a growing band of amazing volunteer gardeners, working so hard to maintain our open spaces.

“Throughout the town, there are lots of projects taking place to strengthen our position and we are confident that Ramsgate will be in with a good chance of winning a prize, thanks to the hard work from our community.  I am in awe of these dedicated gardeners and am, like many of our residents and visitors, very grateful for everything they do.”

Albion Place Gardens Photo Brian Whitehead

Britain in Bloom and the regional South & South East in Bloom have various categories for people to enter into including; Parks, Churchyards, Conservation Areas and It’s Your Neighbourhood.   For this year, each entrant is required to submit evidence of planting in the chosen area with photos and video footage and documents taking into account horticulture, the environment and community participation.   The information needs to be submitted by the end of July and the results will be announced in the autumn.

A group in Ramsgate won an award 10 years ago when Spencer Square gardeners entered and came away with first prize,  Friends of Spencer Square still has an active gardening group and people are welcome to join them in maintaining the gardens, when they meet up every week.

Photo Brian Whitehead

Friends of Albion Place Gardens group organiser Margarita Moscoso said: “Our gardening group has worked on Albion Gardens almost every week since 2016 and we are delighted to be included in Ramsgate’s entry.  We all get so much out of tending to this public space, both physically and mentally and take great pride and pleasure from all the positive comments we receive.”

Photo Brian Whitehead

To help support the competition this year, businesses and boats are being asked to join in by entering a local competition with various categories including best pub, shop, restaurant and lots more.  They don’t have to be in the competition area to take part and the winner of each category will receive a small trophy after the local judging takes place from the third week of July to the first week in August.  The entry forms need to be submitted by July 15.

Addington Street Community Group, Ramsgate Town Team, the Falstaff Hotel and Ramsgate Town Council are also getting involved by contributing towards new planters, hanging baskets and maintaining the plants throughout the season.

Becky Wing, Councillor for Central Harbour Ward and Chair of Addington Street Community Group has been busy up-cycling some old oil drums with help from The Falstaff Hotel which businesses can either purchase or adopt.  Becky said: “This will be a well deserved award if Ramsgate is successful, especially as most of our public spaces look beautiful because of a dedicated volunteer community who aren’t afraid to get their hands dirty to create something stunning for everyone to enjoy.

“We are incredibly lucky to live in such a stunning part of the country and I am really proud to be part of the growing number of residents who contribute towards the upkeep of our public areas.  I have everything crossed for Ramsgate winning this competition.”

Photo Brian Whitehead

If you have a business or boat and would like to take part in the local competition, you can request an entry form here or email Rebekah Smith at [email protected]

You can follow their progress by visiting the Ramsgate in Bloom facebook page.

If you are interested in joining Friends of Albion Place Gardens gardening group, message Margarita via their facebook page.