Five community gardening projects in Norden have received top marks in the Royal Horticultural Society’s ‘It’s Your Neighborhood’ awards.
Individual sites and community groups have been entered into the North West In Bloom ‘It’s Your Neighbourhood’ awards
The five entries; The Friends of Ashworth Valley, Friends of Taylor Park, Norden Bowling and Social Club, Moss Row Allotments and Friends of Norden Jubilee Park have all reached level five, “outstanding”, the highest possible level.
Norden in Bloom volunteer Paul Ellison said more than 100 people gave their time to help across the five entries, including garden clubs, scout groups, volunteers and schoolchildren.
It follows that Rochdale won gold in the ‘small town’ category in the national Britain in Bloom competition last week.
Paul said: “We are delighted that all of our five entries all won five out of five.
“It’s great to see that community spirit is very high in Norden, where sometimes community groups can dwindle, but we’re only getting stronger.
“For example, at Jubilee Park, scouts came to help us pick up litter, we also brought in school children to learn about the housing estate side. It’s all about engaging the community and that’s what the It’s Your Neighborhood Awards are all about.
Paul added that he would like to thank everyone for their support and said community groups are always looking for new volunteers.
He also said local business owners had been keen to offer their support by donating butties and fish and chips to the volunteers.
“What we found when the Covid restrictions were lifted, we had more people showing up for the litter box,” Paul said.
“People make new friends and it’s just the overall health and well-being of any individual that comes out of that.
“You do a few hours of gardening a week or a day, it’s always good for your mental health and well-being.”