COLUMN: Let’s Face It!

Tony Stellabotti's garden-summer 2014. Crawley in Bloom'jpco-04-03-15-bloom SUS-150225-165053001
Tony Stellabotti's garden-summer 2014. Crawley in Bloom'jpco-04-03-15-bloom SUS-150225-165053001

Let’s FACE (Focus Action for Crawley’s Environment) it!

Crawley has achieved Gold in the Small City category of the South and South East in Bloom competition every year since 2009.

This year we are hoping to retain our Gold medal and this is where we need your help.

The judging criteria of South and South East in Bloom covers three main areas and Let’s FACE it! works closely with community groups, local residents, schools, businesses and other teams within the council to ensure that we are able to meet as much of the judging criteria as we can because as everyone knows – “points win prizes” and we aim to collect as many points as possible!

The three main areas in the competition are:

l Horticultural Achievement focuses on impact, horticultural practice, residential and community gardening, business areas and premises, and green spaces. 50 per cent of the total marks are awarded in this section.

l Environmental Responsibility is worth 25 per cent of the total marks and covers conservation and biodiversity, resource management (i.e. local heritage, local environmental quality and pride of place).

l Community Participation is also worth 25 per cent of the total marks and covers development and continuity, communication and education, community participation, year round involvement, and funding and support.

Where we need your help on this occasion is with “residential and community gardening”.

Are you and your neighbours proud of how your street looks in the summer? (Judging of the competition is usually late July).

Do you know of a street that looks amazing? Or a single front garden that has the WOW factor?

If so we would really like to know so that we can show them to the judges when they visit Crawley.

“Green Streets” is the theme from the Royal Horticultural Society for this year’s competition and it would be great if we were able to show the judges some really fantastic streets.

We would be really grateful if you could let us know as soon as possible as we are currently trying to sort out the judges’ tour of the town. We have just three hours to show the judges the very best that Crawley has to offer across all the criteria listed above, and trying to decide which roads to go down and what to see is really tough. Please email or call 01293 438001 and tell us all about your amazing space. About the only stipulation is that the gardens must be visible to the general public from the street so no back gardens please, however lovely they may be.

If you have a fantastic show of spring flowers please take some photographs and send them in as we would love to see them as well.

And finally, the first signs of spring are everywhere – from the newly born lambs and kids at the Nature Centre in Tilgate Park to the snowdrops and crocuses flowering their heads off everywhere. Birdsong accompanies the lighter mornings, and longer, warmer days are tempting most of us back out into our gardens after the hibernation of winter. Spare a thought though for the council’s workforce who are out in all weathers and temperatures.– who don’t have the luxury of choosing to sit indoors with a cup of tea looking out of the window. They are out every day, seven days a week, 52 weeks a year, tending Crawley’s fabulous parks and open spaces, cleaning our streets and picking up litter to make sure that Crawley is a great place to live, work, and visit and THAT is part of the reason why we win Gold in South East in Bloom year after year – and will hopefully do so again in 2015 (with your help of course!).