Halesowen named among world’s blooming best for flower displays

Halesowen in Bloom has gone global – coming third in an international challenge to find the most floral locations in the world.

Eve O’Connor, front, with Ellie Hunt and Councillors Karen Shakespeare and Hilary Bills

Halesowen picked up five Blooms and a bronze award – with a score between 84 and 87 per cent – in the International Challenge (Large) category of Communities in Bloom.

The group, made up of more than 100 volunteers, were up against town and cities in Canada, America and Hungary in their category.

The results were announced at an awards ceremony in Nova Scotia, in Canada, at the end of last week.

Halesowen in Bloom displays have been attracting competition judges over recent years

Halesowen in Bloom was entered into the international competition after receiving a Gold in the Urban Community Category for the Heart of England. The group went on to beat five other regional winners to be crowned the national award winners in October 2018.

Eve O’Connor, of Halesowen in Bloom, said: “I am absolutely proud as punch – this is a massive blooming achievement and comes in just our sixth year, which is amazing in such a short space of time. Some entries take decades to reach this far, and it’s a real testament to how great our superb community is.

“To put our score into perspective, only two entries out of 60 received a Gold score of more than 90 per cent.

“We can hold our heads high – we were up there with the best of the blooming best. We would like to thank everyone who participated or helped in any way, as we would not have been able to do any of this without our army of loyal volunteers.

“The hard work will start again now preparing for next year.”

The displays have been scooping awards over the years

Councillor Karen Shakespeare, Dudley Council’s cabinet member for environmental, highways and street services, added: “I am over the moon to see that the fantastic work Halesowen in Bloom has done for the town has been recognised on a global stage.

“It was particularly pleasing that the Leasowes Walled Garden project got a special mention, as so much hard work has gone into that and it has completely transformed the site into something special that everyone can be proud of.

“The success is testament to everyone who has been involved, it’s been a real team effort with the many wonderful volunteers working in partnership with our own council staff.

“I look forward to seeing what the group comes up with next year.”