Cumbria in Bloom judges enjoy tour of Barrow for first time in more than 15 years

Judges from Cumbria in Bloom have visited Barrow after the town entered the prestigious annual contest for the first time in more than 15 years.

The panel enjoyed a tour of floral displays and planting in the town centre as well as a guided walk around the 45-acre Thomas Mawson-designed Barrow Park; a tree-filled oasis that attracts residents and visitors from across the area.

They were accompanied by members of Westmorland and Furness Council’s Operational Services Team, as well as representatives from Barrow BID, the council’s contractor Continental Landscapes and the Woodland Trust.

Marie Richards, Westmorland and Furness Council’s Head of Operational Services, led the Cumbria in Bloom judges’ visit.

“I was extremely proud to be able to showcase Barrow in full bloom thanks to the joined-up efforts of an entire community,” Marie said.

“We have hanging baskets and planters bringing a burst of colour and biodiversity into the heart of the town centre following our first ever community planting day while the areas of regular planting also look superb.

“Barrow Park is a wonderful space that is well used and much loved by so many people, so being able to lead the Cumbria in Bloom judges on a tour was fantastic.

“This is Barrow’s first entry into the awards in more than 15 years and I’m hoping we can build on our excellent achievements as a community in the years ahead.”

Barrow was judged within the Pride in the Community category in this year’s contest. The winners will be announced in the months ahead.

This year, staff and service users from local groups; Furness Homeless Shelter and Love Barrow Families, designed planted beds for two roundabouts in the town; Schneider Road and Ramsden Square.

School children from a number of schools also planted hanging baskets using a range of pollinator-friendly plants supplied by Westmorland and Furness Council. The special event has contributed to a vibrant tapestry of colour and shape around the town.

As part of their tour, the Cumbria in Bloom judging panel, made up of Janet Mardon, Sue Preston-Jones and Liz Armitage, also viewed Coronation Gardens, on Abbey Road, which has this year been planted to celebrate the coronation of King Charles III.

The group then walked to Barrow Park where they viewed newly planted trees thanks to funding from The Queen’s Canopy and the Cumbria Coastal Community Forest, as well as a natural wildflower garden and the Covid Memorial Garden.

Janet Mardon said: “It is great to see Barrow back in the Cumbria in Bloom competition for the first time in a number of years.

“We have really enjoyed our visit which has been very informative and has shown there is so much good work taking place on which to build upon going forward.

“We hope to be back next year.”

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