Hard-working, green-fingered residents have helped Islington win Gold awards at the prestigious London in Bloom competition, which recognises hard work to protect vital green spaces, create habitat and protect wildlife.

London in Bloom named Islington as joint category winner in its Best City Category. Other council entries were also judged highly with Duncan Terrace Gardens achieving gold in the Best Small Parks Category and Gillespie Park winning gold and being named category winner in the Conservation Area Category.

An important part of the judging for every award is conservation, which marks entries on how well they are creating and protecting habitats,  flora and fauna and biodiversity.  Entries are also marked on community and public participation.

The judges commented that they “were impressed by the excellent standard and engagement opportunities in areas such as Culpeper Community Garden, Bevin Court, Octopus Community Network at the Plant Nursery, all of which were supported by the Local Authority.” They also commented on how “Duncan Terrace and Colebrooke Row Gardens is a wonderful example of how the local community can take ownership and responsibility for their neighbourhood space and bring tangible improvements to the local area.”

The council, working with a wide variety of community organisations and groups, entered the awards to highlight the important work it is doing to create a healthier borough for all by improving its vital green spaces, protecting biodiversity and enabling access to outdoor activities including gardening.

Cllr Claudia Webbe, executive member for environment and transport, said:

“These well-deserved awards highlight the work being done in Islington to make our borough, healthier and more sustainable by improving green spaces, creating habitat and encouraging biodiversity, which is ever more important as we face this climate and ecological emergency.  I am immensely proud of the huge number and wide variety of wins achieved for Islington. I want to say a huge thanks to all the volunteers, residents, staff and community partners who have worked together to achieve this brilliant success and winning awards for Islington. ”

Clare Carolan from the Duncan Terrace Gardens Friends group, whose project was also separately recognised with a Level 5 Outstanding certificate in the Royal Horticultural Society It’s Your Neighbourhood awards, said:

“Winning this award reflects the tireless work and support that volunteers have committed to this project over many years. Fundamentally this is all about an amazing partnership between the volunteers, the Council, Our corporate, university and community partners – City University, Hugh Grover Associates, Islington Gardeners, London Metropolitan Gardens, Angel Bid, to name a few. It’s so important that the community in the south of the borough, where there are so few green, open spaces, can get together to look after spaces that can be enjoyed by lots of different people in many different ways.”

If you are interested in joining a local gardening or friends group in Islington please see http://islingtonlife.london/things-to-do/volunteer-in-islington-parks/

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