Sandown makes Britain in Bloom national finals PICTURES and VIDEO

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Judges Kim Parish and Jane Tainsh with Ben Holbrook and other Sandown Green Town Volunteers.
Judges Kim Parish and Jane Tainsh with Ben Holbrook and other Sandown Green Town Volunteers.

A MODEST drizzle did not dampen the spirits and enthusiasm of Sandown Green Town Volunteers (SGTV), as they welcomed two Britain in Bloom national judges to the town.

Kim Parish and Jane Tainsh arrived on Tuesday, August 2, to judge Sandown’s entry in the finals of the 2022 Britain in Bloom coastal town category.

Gathering at Battery Gardens, they met Sandown mayor, Cllr Paddy Lightfoot, and were given a short presentation by Nicola Winsland on behalf of the Poo Museum and Friends of Battery Gardens, and Ben Holbrook, deputy chair of Sandown Green Town Volunteers.

The presentation covered community activities throughout the year and SGTV’s future plans; in particular, developing closer links with local schools and care homes.

The judges were then taken on a tour of the town.

They passed cliff path flower beds, rejuvenated by residents and SGTV, and stopped to view the gardens and floral displays of local residents and businesses, such as Barnaby’s on Pier Street.

Throughout the tour, judges noted the craftwork done by volunteers ­— yarnbombing window displays in the Trouville Hotel, and a pom-pom Union Flag in the library, decorated hubcaps on the fencing of the Savoy, Tarvic II and St Moritz, and a Shakespearian collage on Tarvic II.

At the lake on Culver Parade, they met up with Ian Boyd and Claire Hector of Arc-Consulting and the Common Space, who went through the rewilding taking place along the lake and road verges.

They then went to the Willow Walk, to see newly planted Iris beds, a new oak sculpture, and to meet the Men in Sheds and view the Pluto Hut.

They later visited ‘science beach’ to investigate the Vertipools, just visible on the groynes when the tide is out.

The tour ended at the new Gateway eco-sculpture, promoted by SGTV, with financial support from Sandown Rotary.

There are six entries in this year’s competition ­— the results due in October.

“The judges appeared to enjoy their visit, and were particularly impressed by artwork throughout the town,” said Ben Holbrook.

“Whatever the outcome, Sandown was shown as a town that had a lot to offer; a lively, blue-flagged sandy beach, and an environmentally conscious and active community.”