The judges at Victoria Park with volunteers, council staff and the leader of Erewash Borough CouncilRHS Britain in Bloom judges have visited Ilkeston to see the town’s floral displays, colourful parks and meet those who work tirelessly to keep the town looking its best.

The judges visited on Monday 1 August after the announcement earlier this year that Ilkeston was in the final of the national competition. 

Ilkeston is up against seven other finalists in the Large Town category – Dunstable in Bedfordshire; Workington in Cumbria; Congleton in Cheshire; Farnham in Surrey; Portishead in Somerset; Prestatyn in Denbighshire; and Mirfield in Yorkshire. Over the summer the judges will visit every finalist before declaring the results at the awards ceremony held in the autumn.

Councillor Carol Hart, Leader of Erewash Borough Council, says:

“Ilkeston and Long Eaton have consistently performed well in East Midlands in Bloom. Having Ilkeston reach the final of the Britain in Bloom Large Town category is the icing on the cake. Our team work hard to create a beautiful, well-kept town and this is recognition for all their work. We are all very much looking forward to welcoming the judges to our borough and showcasing everything Erewash does to make Ilkeston wonderful for its people, wildlife and the environment.”

This year the competition is prioritising sustainable gardening with criteria including tackling environmental issues and considering wildlife needs. Marks will be awarded based on horticultural achievements, community participation and environmental responsibility.

The judges looked at the variety of floral displays across Ilkeston including hanging baskets, seasonal bedding, permanent planting schemes and traffic islands. They saw the work done to encourage biodiversity such as the new wildflower plantings and the habitat provision effort at Straw’s Bridge. The judges will meet the friends’ groups, local residents, school children and Erewash Borough Council teams who come together daily to make a difference in the community.

Last year Ilkeston won Gold in East Midlands in Bloom, a huge achievement and major recognition for all those who work endlessly to maintain the town’s green spaces.