Hillsborough going green in bid to capture Britain in Bloom top prize

Pictured at the recent May Fair in Hillsborough with Councillor James Baird, Chairman of the council's Environmental Services Committee are (l-r) Celine Magill, New Leaf and Sarah McGeough, Lisburn & Castlereagh City Council.
Pictured at the recent May Fair in Hillsborough with Councillor James Baird, Chairman of the council's Environmental Services Committee are (l-r) Celine Magill, New Leaf and Sarah McGeough, Lisburn & Castlereagh City Council.

Hillsborough is ‘going green’ in a bid to secure the top prize in this year’s Britain in Bloom competition.

The theme for this year’s Britain in Bloom - the UK’s largest horticultural campaign - is ‘Biodiversity’, and Lisburn & Castlereagh City Council is working with many local businesses, schools, community groups and householders through a range of activities to help showcase the village as an example of best practice.

Last week the council teamed up with Downshire Primary School for its May Fair event at Hillsborough Village Centre to provide information and demonstrations on biodiversity, recycling and composting.

Chairman of the Environmental Services Committee, Councillor James Baird said: “The May Fair is an annual event run by Downshire Primary School Parent Teacher Association (PTA) to raise funds for the school. It also provided an ideal platform for us to promote the importance of biodiversity, educate families on how they can do their bit for the local environment, and a great way to get the local community behind this year’s Britain in Bloom competition in which Hillsborough has been shortlisted.

“Throughout the day there were free giveaways of nature wildflower seed packets and New Leaf compost and I would like to offer my sincere thanks to our partners, Eco Seeds and NWP for kindly donating these.

“Waste Management supplied food caddies and liners along with information on recycling, and biodiversity, and Grounds Maintenance Officers gave demonstrations on how to make window boxes.

“It was an excellent morning and my thanks also go to Downshire Primary School PTA for allowing us to take part in its event.”

This year Hillsborough village has set its sights on the ultimate prize of ‘Champion of Champions’ in the Britain in Bloom competition.

Candidates must have a track record of a sustained high standard in the UK finals and be invited to participate by recommendation of the RHS Britain in Bloom UK Judging Panel.

Judging of the competition will take place in July/ August 2017.

The village has already been awarded Gold in the Large Village category in 2016 and 2014, and Silver Gilt in 2013.

As well as winning gold in 2014 Hillsborough was also a category winner that year.

In 2016 it also won the Heritage Award, which is presented to the finalist that best demonstrates outstanding commitment to the ongoing care and development their local heritage.

For more information about biodiversity and how to get involved with Hillsborough Britain in Bloom 2017, call the council’s Biodiversity Team on 028 9250 9250.