Tuesday, 22 June 2021

Volunteers get planting for village's Bloom bid

VOLUNTEERS have planted 48 hanging baskets as part of Goring's fourth entry to the Britain in

VOLUNTEERS have planted 48 hanging baskets as part of Goring's fourth entry to the Britain in Bloom competition.

They contain pink and purple petunias, verbenas and bacopas and will be kept in organiser Stephanie Bridle’s greenhouse until they come into flower next month.

The team will hang them around the village and water them daily using a solar-powered bowser before the judges visit in July. They will continue to water them for several months afterwards.

The baskets will go outside businesses in High Street, several of which are sponsoring the bid, and along the bridge to Streatley. There will be two more than the 46 that went up last summer.

There will also be five planters, nine troughs and several mangers at various sites, including The Arcade, Wheel Orchard car park, the library in Station Road and the parish council offices in Red Cross Road.

This year’s competition theme is “turning grey spaces green” so the volunteers have renovated a corner of the Gardiner recreation ground, off Cleeve Road, which used to serve as a rubbish dump.

They have cleared the land and replanted it with trees, shrubs and wildflowers.

They have also planted sweet peas along the fence next to the telephone exchange behind The Arcade and planted more flowers outside the public toilets at the Wheel Orchard.

Since first competing in 2012, Goring has won two silver gilt certificates and one gold in the small town category of the Thames and Chilterns category.

It has also won numerous awards, including best community involvement and the Matt Matlock Schools Challenge Cup for its work with Goring Primary School.

Mrs Bridle, of Cleeve Road, said: “We’re trying to improve the look of the village for its own sake. When you bring it to the attention of local businesses, they realise there are things they can do to attract more visitors to Goring and that is something we constantly need to do.

“When people come here they often remark on how lovely it is and how much they want to live here, which is just what we want to hear. It would be wonderful if we won an award but it is not the be all and end all — our main aim is to make Goring look beautiful.”

Goring Parish Council contributes £800 a year towards the cost of the hanging baskets.

But Mrs Bridle has warned councillors that her team might have to stop entering the competition because the work was becoming too much for them.

She wants the council to pay about £3,500 for contractors to carry out the planting and watering. Her committee would continue to pay for and maintain tubs, planters, flower beds and other schemes.

Mrs Bridle said she would submit a formal request for the extra funding now that the election was over.

She said: “We need help with the labour as we’re getting a bit long in the tooth and having great difficulty finding people to do the watering.

“We have to plan for our succession. There are lots of wonderful volunteers in Goring but many of them are too busy as they are involved in other causes.”

Anyone interested in volunteering should call Mrs Bridle on (01491) 875283.

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