Chester has bloomed into colour this summer, as the city centre seeks recognition for its outstanding floral displays.
CH1ChesterBID has entered the city centre into this year’s North West in Bloom Business Improvement category and on August 1, the city’s horticultural achievement, environmental responsibility and community participation was inspected by regional judges representing the Royal Horticultural Society.
The judges visited Chester as part of the scheme, which is designed to demonstrate a city’s ability to create and maintain attractive environments that benefit residents and visitors alike.
Nick White, CH1ChesterBID’s City Centre Manager, said: “It was wonderful to welcome the judges from North West in Bloom and show them our stunning city and horticultural efforts.
“This was very much a team effort. In the run up to this year’s judging, we worked closely with Cheshire West And Chester Council who gave us permission to place our planters on the highway and arranged for them to be watered.
“We’d like to thank all those businesses and individuals who helped decorate their stores and the rows around Chester and kept the 180 floral planters and displays in full bloom throughout this hot dry summer.
“As part of our entry, we incorporated a purple colour scheme to honour our recent Purple Flag accreditation and brighten the city, so hopefully the judges will be suitably impressed.”
Chester’s floral displays were recently recognised at the Town and City Management Awards, receiving the runner-up award for Best Environmental Contribution. The decision on the “North West in Bloom” standard, will be announced later in August.
As part of the community activity around the floral planting scheme, CH1ChesterBID has organised summer holiday activities including series of children’s workshops and a self-guided bumblebees and butterflies trail, with the trail guide available for collection from the Visitor Information Centre on Northgate Street.
Elaine Roberts, manager of Beatons Tearoom and Bookshop, who helped with the community aspect of the entry, said of the process: “It’s been very exciting to be part of Chester in Bloom.
“We’ve really enjoyed working with other members of the community to enhance the appearance of the city. The end result is beautiful and something I feel we can all appreciate over the coming months.”
Lance Pritchard, pub manager at The Shropshire Arms, furthered these comments, saying: “The floral displays around the city have certainly helped to make the area look incredibly attractive and appealing – not just to Cestrians and visitors, but to wildlife too.
“When choosing the flowers, CH1ChesterBID worked closely with a local nursery to ensure that ‘bee-friendly’ species were included. It’s great to know that whilst we’ve improved the aesthetic of the city centre, we’ve also made a positive environmental impact too.”
To celebrate the city’s blooms, Ch1ChesterBID is also running a social media competition to encourage residents and guests to share their best photographs of the floral displays. Any photograph shared on social before September 2 with the #ChesterInBloom, will be in with a chance of winning one of three city centre prizes.
Full details of the Chester’s summer events are available at www.experiencechester.co.uk