Readers will already know that Storrington was awarded a Silver Gilt Medal in the South & South East in Bloom competition in 2013, a significant improvement on 2012.
This was thanks to much hard work by the Storrington In Bloom Group, independently constituted in April 2013, with the following aims: To promote a sense of community well-being in Storrington;To help to reduce anti-social behaviour; To promote local businesses.
The judges praised the efforts of the volunteers who had worked so hard, and encouraged them to go for more ‘wow’ factor, more involvement with children, wildflower planting, and a higher profile for the town’s conservation projects.
Storrington’s target for 2014 is to improve its scores in all areas and ‘grow towards a Gold Award’, and so to produce a superlative display for all its residents. The local Greenfingers group is already planning its displays in the main town planters, and the Place Villerest display will rise again.
Much background work has been taking place to achieve support and approval for lamp post planters all along the High Street and adjoining streets. Following the very successful painting by Rydon Community College of the mural on Manley’s Hill, both Rydon and Storrington 1st School have a number of projects of their own , along with other children and young people becoming involved through the Wheelbarrow project with youth groups, and the Bug hotel for the village pond.
The local Storrington in Bloom competition will be similar to 2013, with an additional category for retailers of Best Window Display, and most sponsors have already been agreed.
After discussions with Squires Garden Centre, we have again confirmed that an award ceremony will take place on 18th September, at their centre. Squires will again be sponsoring 2 of the categories referred to above. Entry forms for Front Garden and Community Area will be available from the Village Florist and the Card Centre, while the remaining 3 categories including Allotments, will be automatic for all those eligible .
Greenfingers will be concentrating on enhancing the quality of town centre planting, and the planters in the Place Villerest display will complement these.
Storrington volunteers hope that both Riverside Walk, Fryern Dell and Meadowside will Be a new entry in the ‘Conservation Area’ category as a combined project, and a number of local residential community areas will be supporting the ‘It’s Your Neighbourhood’ category.
Britain In Bloom is asking local In Bloom groups to help reduce the number of vacant retail premises, and Storrington In Bloom has successfully transformed 2-4 High Street, known locally as The Old Woolwich, into a bright and colourful window display for many local voluntary and community groups, by agreement with owners Arun Estates.
With approval from the Storrington Parish Council, it’s all systems go in acquiring 26 refurbished Amberol planters from Horsham District Council, thus recycling even the new features!
The Storrington In Bloom group is now currently seeking funds from a variety of sources, together with fund raising events of their own, so look out for their Barn Dance on March 29th, and other activities, all of which will be advertised in the shop in the High Street!
Both Storrington In Bloom and its partners hope that their aims, the overall project, and its achievement in South East in Bloom, will encourage even more participation. They believe that it has enhanced the sense of community that already exists in Storrington, and is already drawing a wide range of residents and traders together, contributing considerably to the well-being of the town.
So look out for the wow factor in Storrington this spring, and watch for the planting in May.
Anyone interested in joining the group to help with these projects can contact David Wright at firstname.lastname@example.org
Report and pictures contributed by David Wright.