Friday, 17 September 2021

Picking up the litter could help town win bloom gold

ORGANISERS of Henley’s Hit Litter clean-up are appealing for people to join this year’s event — and have some fun.

The annual litter-pick, run by Henley in Bloom, will take place next Saturday (April 5).

It is the first major initiative as the town gears up to compete in the national Britain in Bloom competition, supported by a new Henley Standard campaign called Going for Gold.

Last year, Henley won silver gilt in the town category of the Royal Horticultural Society competition, falling just two points short of the gold.

For this year’s Hit Litter, volunteers are asked to meet at Christ Church in Reading Road, rather than the town hall, at 10am for a 10.30am start.

Helpers will be invited to enjoy soup and refreshments at the church from noon. Councillor Kellie Hinton, who chairs the Henley in Bloom organising committee, said: “This year we are moving to the Christ Church centre so we can serve soup to the helpers afterwards.

“The reason is we have lots of parents, children, councillors and community groups who come out for a few hours every year and we want to say thank you.

“We also want to get everybody who helps Henley in Bloom together to have a chat and see how we can work together to help the community.”

Volunteers will be given equipment provided by South Oxfordshire District Council and a map detailing which area in Henley they will be asked to tidy. Cllr Hinton added: “Some areas are a bit worse than others, such as the station car park, so we will send more people to those areas.”

There will also be a litter pick at Makins recreation ground run by Gainsborough Residents’ Association. Housing association Soha will provide a skip, which will be on site from 7.30am.

Henley Mayor Stefan Gawrysiak, who will be volunteering, said: “There’s an old adage that many hands make light work and if we had 200 people going around the town collecting litter and giving the place a tidy up it would be absolutely brilliant.

“Let’s hope we get the gold at the nationals this year. I totally support Henley in Bloom and think it makes the town look brilliant.”

Meanwhile, there will be a Henley in Bloom stall at the Create Henley festival, which takes tomorrow (Saturday) and Sunday.

The group will be giving out free nasturtium and marigold seeds, compost and information sheets donated by Toad Hall garden centre in Marlow Road as part of its Community Plant Growing Challenge.

Growers will be able to keep half the plants they grow for themselves and donate the rest for use in the town’s flower beds.

The first batch will go to the sensory garden at Mill Meadows, where Henley Gardening Buddies will be tidying on Tuesday.

Cllr Hinton said: “It is a more sustainable way of planting rather than buying the seeds.

“We want to get as many people growing these free seeds as possible to help us win gold in the regional and national competition.

“This year we are going to be bigger and better and we are thrilled to be pushing the campaign again.”

The flowers are coloured gold and red and should come into bloom together.

The group will be giving out more seeds and information packs at Henley’s six primary schools next month.

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