FAREHAM has proved its blooming volunteers have got the greenest fingers for a stunning ninth year in a row.
It has scooped the title of overall winner in the small city category at this year’s South and South East In Bloom competition.
It was the icing on the cake for the borough, which picked up numerous other accolades, as did projects elsewhere in The News region.
Judges spent a day travelling around in July when volunteers and council officers showed off the best spots.
Fareham’s horticulture officer Matt Wakefield said: ‘We do have a great deal of pride in our parks and we are passionate about the environment and horticulture.
‘That pride passes through into the entry and to the judges when they come to Fareham to assess us.
‘It’s a lot of passion and hard work –we don’t achieve these awards without going the extra mile.
‘But we are fortunate and quite unusual that we have so many volunteers.
‘We have a dedicated team of seven volunteers on the co-ordinating team, outside that there’s about another 80 volunteers who all play different role. Year-on-year we will have new projects so when the judges come we always have something new to show them.
Small City: Fareham, gold, overall winner; Gosport, silver gilt.
It’s Your Neighbourhoods: Bishopsfield Road community Space, Broadlaw Community Space Volunteer Group, Burnham Wood, Fareham and Crofton Cricket Club, Friends of the Sensory Garden, Sarisbury Athletic Cricket Club, Wicor Primary School, all in Fareham; Four Seasons Urban Garden Project, Portsmouth; Friends of Leesland Park, Gosport; all awarded thriving status. Crescent Garden, Gosport, Fareham Conservation Volunteers, Fareham, Friends of St Mark’s, Gosport, Northern Ground Force/1st Portchester Rainbow & Brownies, Fareham; all awarded outstanding status.
Conservation Area: Wildgrounds Nature Reserve, Gosport, silver gilt; Warsash Common, gold.
Country Park: Holly Hill Woodland Park, Fareham, gold and winner
Small Park: Civic Gardens, Fareham, silver gilt; Crescent Gardens, Gosport, gold; Sensory Garden of Reflection, Fareham, gold; Westbury Manor Garden, Fareham, gold
Commercial Garden/Landscape: Portchester Memorial Gardens, silver gilt
Small Cemetery: St. Marks Churchyard, Gosport, gold and winner
Discretionary Awards 2012
The Pub Award: The Crofton, Stubbington, highly commended
Hampshire Life: Fareham in Bloom