“Bustling, busy and fascinating describe King's Heath very well…an urban village with its own distinct character” were the words of the national Britain in Bloom judges in awarding King's Heath Silver Gilt in the Urban Community category at the annual Britain in Bloom awards. After winning Gold in Heart of England in Bloom 2011, King's Heath was nominated to represent the region in the national finals this year.
King's Heath was ranked 3rd in the Urban Community category awards out of 7 entries and was praised for a wide array of achievements, including:
- The Floral displays throughout the area but particularly in King's Heath Park
- Engagement with schools, particularly at Fox Hollies School where horticulture was being used as a learning aid for children
- Many businesses supporting the campaign with their own floral displays
- Initiatives that demonstrate King's Heath’s drive to become Birmingham’s green capital
- The environment was very clean, even in the exceptionally busy areas
- Initiatives to celebrate local heritage such as the Crown bed in the Village Square and Guitar bed and Walk of Fame in York Road
King's Heath’s success in Britain in Bloom is the 4th major horticultural award for King's Heath this year after winning Silver Gilt in Heart of England in Bloom, Silver Gilt for Fox Hollies School in the Heart of England in Bloom Schools Competition and a Level 3 Award for the Community Centre in Heart of England in Bloom ‘It’s Your Neighbourhood’ competition.
King's Heath’s Floral Trail, the centre piece of the entry, is funded by the King's Heath Business Improvement District.
Last year, the Royal Horticulural Society released a report demonstrating how RHS Britain in Bloom benefits the physical, social and economic health of the country. It revealed that being involved in the campaign was a key factor in driving visitors and investment into areas, thus improving economic wellbeing. Local businesses flourish, jobs are created and local authorities save a vast amount of money.
Bob Prew, Chair of the King's Heath Centre Partnership’s Clean and Green committee, emphasised this point.
“Receiving awards for our work is fantastic, and it’s good to see King's Heath get the recognition it deserves but the role of the Floral Trail and our other initiatives is always focussed on benefitting the businesses and visitors to King's Heath. We want to ensure that King's Heath is a great place to live and visit so having a clean environment, interesting features and exciting community engagement projects is what really matters and it was good to see the judges highlight these areas.”
In addition to King's Heath’s success, Birmingham was awarded Gold in the ‘Large City’ category and Cannon Hill Park, just outside King's Heath was judged best public park.
The Royal Horticultural Society has a "Britain in Bloom" page here and links to all the 2012 results.