Application forms for the 2017 competition are now available and entries have to be returned got to be returned to Aberdeen City Council by 14 July. We have always been big supporters of the City’s, Britain in Bloom efforts and I hope we will see the usual big entry from plotters this year. A good level of entries helps show how keen we plotters are on our allotments and the Council’s work to support green spaces and gardening.
Plotters can pick up an entry from from the Bothy or from Council offices and libraries. Alternatively, you can submit your entry online via the Aberdeen in Bloom Page.
I hope we will see a bumper crop of entries this year!
Some recent news from Pat at the Council:
Please find information detailed below via Adrian Atkinson, Representative, Holburn Street, to share with the plotters at your sites.
You may be aware that the Council has started to roll-out mixed recycling facilities and this includes some things that couldn’t previously be recycled locally – including ‘plastic pots, tubs and trays’. I’ve checked with the ACC waste team and this includes plastic plant pots and trays so they can now be recycled rather then put into rubbish for landfill. The new service is currently being rolled out for premises that have on-street recycling/rubbish bins – i.e. flats and tenements, with individual houses to follow at a later date but it does mean that you might have a mixed recycling bin nearby (as we do in Ferryhill) that you could use. Check this link for more details.
Project Support Officer
GFAA were part of a Council group at the Duthie Park representing Aberdeen City in the Britain in Bloom competition today. Along with a dozen or so other organisations we were invited along to evidence gardening activities in the City. The judges were very interested to hear of the development of the Primary Plot, our activities with RGU, the planting up of the South Bank and our losing battles with the deer.
Aberdeen City Council hosted an excellent volunteers networking opportunity this week as a thank you to all the groups who have contributed to the Council’s It’s Your Neighbourhood efforts.
The event was hosted in the Duthie Park and featured some exceptionally fine cakes and bakes, or affa fancy peeces if you prefer.
2016 marks GFAA’s third year in the It’s Your Neighbourhood Scheme. We achieved a Thriving assessment at our first go and now we have an Outstanding ranking to defend in 2016 after our success last year. Outstanding is the highest award possible. Taking part in IYN has been a source of good advice on growing, the environment and building a better community, but just as importantly, it has helped us open doors to getting more external funding for our site and facilities.
This last month Norman and I took part in a workshop to help us prepare for this year’s assessment. It’s an important year as 2016 marks the 50th Anniversary of Britain in Bloom. The workshop was hosted jointly by IYN, The Royal Horticultural Society and Aberdeen City Council.
Juliette Camburn hosting and appearing for IYN
Stephen Shaw for Aberdeen City Council
Liz Stewart for RHS
Karen Allan for Aberdeen City Council
Some of the key messages for our preparation included:
- keeping in touch and seeking advice
- using online resources from IYN and RHS
- using print and digital comms to get our message across
- have a vision of where we want to go
- marking the 50th Anniversary in some way
- building partnerships with others
- seeking Council officer and elected member involvement
- celebrate our successes and good news stories locally and nationally
- get all ages involved
- use the council media office to help with the press
- think about sustainability and long term vitality
- don’t stand still and get stuck in ruts.
So, we have lots to get on with then! I and any of the committee members will welcome all suggestions and discussions about our key developments and plans for the future – and of course help to prepare our site for the upcoming IYN Assessment visit.
Plotters and visitors may have noticed some changes around the Community Garden and Orchard of late.
With funding from Aberdeen Greenspace and help from Aberdeen City Council we have been able to define better the planned Primary Plot, add a new field drain and sump to improve drainage in the area and build up the road to level the area between this area and the Polytunnel. Our collaborations with HMP Grampian have borne fruit with the provision of a pergola and a set of garden benches. Work is still ongoing and dependent on securing appropriate funding, but we hope to see further exciting developments in this area, including provision of a disabled toilet and a gazebo for use by plotters and visiting groups in the future.
Watch this space!