Whitworth in Bloom is a community based, volunteer led organisation who aim to initiate a movement in Whitworth to improve our sense of civic pride through imaginative planting, encouraging recycling and sustainability projects and eliminate eyesores that blight our streets such as litter, graffiti and vandalism. The idea was to combine the groups that are already working hard to improve our town and work on one project together.
The committee of 7 willing volunteers only formed on 31st March and the achievements which have been made already are amazing. By taking part in the competition they are hoping to increase the feeling of civic pride and start the ball rolling on a long-term plan to improve the local environment.
The North West in Bloom judges visited on 18th July and the committee will have to wait until the end of the year to hear the results. In the meantime, this is what has been achieved for Whitworth in Bloom 2109—first time entry.
Welcome to Whitworth Stone
What better place to start the judging route than the Northern entrance to our town. Before we got on with blooming the boundary was nothing to write home about but with the help of community volunteers and the 41st Whitworth Scouts planting skills the area has been transformed. The eye-catching planted bike feature was a no brainer as this is also the start of our local cycleway.
Barley View residents were thrilled to show the North West in Bloom judges their colourful displays in raised beds and baskets which ensure that they are accessible for those with restricted mobility.
The courtyard garden includes sustainable bird tables, a wishing well and raised planters made from upcycled pallets. The bird tables together with the wildflower planting will help to support the natural habitat and also for a sensory and calming feature for the dementia patients.
The herb garden offers home grown sustainable kitchen ingredients and the garden features upcycled
and second hand benches donated by the community. They have involved young people and volunteers in creating this garden space.
Hall Street is a central point in our elongated town. The Spodden Valley Revealed project had made some improvements to the corner of Hall Street but they had left one of the flower beds unplanted hoping that one of the local community groups would adopt it. Our local girl guides came forward and they designed and planted a feature at Hall Street. Community volunteers have been watering and weeding this area.
The Bug Stop
In April, the Bug Stop was a bit of a bug bear. It was rife with weeds, fly posting and a derelict bus stop. A couple of hours community involvement and some kind donations have made a real difference. This is still a work in progress so watch this space
We were keen to attract pollinators to this area (hence the name) and Whitworth Youth kindly made us an amazing bug hotel which takes pride of place in the centre of the bed. The group have planted bee and butterfly-friendly buddleia, borage, comfrey , lavender and herbs. The bus stop is currently being transformed into the ‘BUG’
Linda was one of the inspirations behind starting bloom. She has been maintaining this planter on Union Street for years since Rossendale Council stopped tending to it.
Linda admits she didn’t know much about gardening when she started, she says ‘if a plant lived then it could stay, if it died, I would plant something else’. This is the essence of what in bloom is about—if you have some enthusiasm and a can-do attitude, look at what you can achieve!
Whitworth Memorial Gardens
Our Horticultural Society were another key inspiration behind starting our in bloom journey. They have been looking after the memorial gardens, bowling green and the planters outside the Riverside for years now, voluntarily. Thankfully, they have a wealth of horticultural knowledge and experience and have advised us brilliantly.
The memorial garden is the jewel in the crown and the judges seemed blown away by what the volunteers have achieved here.
Friends of Whitworth Library Rockery
Friends of Whitworth Library group joined forces with Whitworth Men in Sheds to renovate the overgrown rockery outside Whitworth Library. This amazing transformation all happened since 23rd May 2019 and was only possible thanks to generous donations of time, resources and plants to attract wildlife and make the library a nicer place to stay.
Even our local primary schools got involved with the community effort.
The committee are planning another meeting to start to put a plan into motion for next year’s entry. If you want to get involved please visit the facebook page www.facebook.com/WhitworthInBloom/ or contact Whitworth Town Council using the contact tab.