Sunday, 21 April 2019

Residents excited at bloom judging

TWO green spaces in Henley will be visited by judges from Thames and Chiltern in Bloom.

Freemans Meadow and Northfield End Green will be assessed as part of the It’s Your Neighbourhood scheme.

They will be awarded points based on community participation, environmental responsibility and gardening achievement.

Volunteers have worked for two years to improve both areas, which belong to the town council.

The Friends of Freemans Meadow and the council’s parks services team have planted fruit trees at the site, off Fair Mile, and have launched initiatives to promote biodiversity.

Residents of Northfield End and Bell Street and the council staff have worked together to improve the green triangle of land near the mini-roundabout. They have created a large shrub bed and carried out landscaping and in November they planted a symbolic photinia red robin tree to mark the centenary of the end of the First World War.

Helen Gaynor, who is a member and co-ordinates both volunteer groups, told a meeting of the town council’s open and green spaces sub-committee that she believed both areas should score highly.

“We absolutely feel that both definitely tick all the boxes,” she said.

Councillor Kellie Hinton, who is vice-chairman of Henley in Bloom, said: “That little bit of recognition will be a boost for everybody — the pat on the back that’s needed.”

Judging will take place in June or July and members of each group will be encouraged to attend.

Meanwhile, Henley in Bloom will again hold a community picnic as part of the fifth annual Chelsea Fringe Henley festival. This will be at Freemans Meadow on May 25 from 11am to 1pm.

David Eggleton, who chairs Henley in Bloom, said: “If the weather is nice, it will be really good for the community to enjoy a part of Henley which is so
pleasant.

“It will also give visitors the opportunity to see the work that we have been doing there and hopefully inspire them.”

The Northfield End Residents’ Association won’t be holding its own event this year due to a lack of time and manpower but it has begun planning for next year.

Chelsea Fringe Henley will take place at various venues from May 18 to 26 with a floral flotilla on the River Thames on the final day, starting at the Mill Meadows moorings at 2pm.

Meanwhile, hedge cuttings from Makins Recreation Ground, off Greys Road, have been chipped and some have been put down Waterworks Lane as some residents had said it is muddy and a potential slip hazard.

• Trimming in the “old” section of Fair Mile Cemetery has been postponed so visitors can enjoy the primroses in bloom. The work has been carried out in the “new” section as planned.

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