There is nothing better on cold dull days of winter than looking back.
When the RHS gave us our first award we jokingly started calling ourselves an “Award Winning Allotments” and then as we get more and more we now call ourselves the “Multi-Award Winning Allotments”. Well last year in the autumn we were invited to another award ceremony jointly held by the RHS and Britain in bloom.
We enjoy these ceremonies as it affords us the opportunity to meet gardeners from other community gardens and see what they are getting up to. This year the ceremony was held in a hotel with well-laid out gardens too so we enjoyed a wander before our lunch.
Our allotment gardens, Bowbrook Allotment Community, affectionately know as BAC, fall under the RHS Its your Neighbourhood Scheme for community gardens that improve their local areas. We are measured against a set of criteria which consider horticultural excellence, environmental enhancement, wildlife friendliness and community involvement. Assessors from the RHS make visits and spend several hours on site marking us against set guidelines. The awards are awarded at 5 levels starting with beginning at Level 1 moving up to Level 5 Outstanding. They can also give out discretionary awards to individuals and community gardeners.
We were pleased to receive a Level 5 Outstanding Certificate in 2015 for the 5th year running. We were totally surprised when we were called up at the end of the award ceremony to be be awarded an RHS National Award of Distinction, one of only two awarded. We were given this as we had achieved a mark of 100% in every category. Can’t be bad! It truly reflects our great community spirit!
I thought it would be interesting to add photos of the banners displayed in the hall as they give clues to the spirit of this award scheme.