Tuesday, 26 March 2019

Residents rewarded for greening up their estate

Residents rewarded for greening up their estate

RESIDENTS of the Gainsborough estate in Henley have been honoured for the fifth year running for greening up the area.

They were awarded “outstanding” — the highest possible classification — in the It’s Your Neighbourhood scheme run by the Royal Horticultural Society to encourage communities to improve their areas.

David Eggleton, chairman of the Gainsborough Residents’ Association, was presented with the award at the Thames and Chilterns in Bloom awards.

The estate was judged by Allan Moffat and Claire Wallen in July, who gave it 87 points out of a possible 100. They said: “An outstanding example of community participation to improve the area and include residents in decision-making. The judges particularly noted how friendly everyone was to each other, something rare in this modern world.”

The judges recommended some areas for improvement, including rainwater harvesting, use of more bee-friendly plants, encouraging more residents to green their front gardens and improving the alleyway near Makins recreation ground. In the previous four years, the estate has been awarded “thriving”, the second highest classification.

Mr Eggleton, who showed the judges around the estate with association vice-chairwoman Paula Isaac in July, said that what had made the difference this year was a free communal tool share scheme and a new gardens competition for residents.

He said: “We have been doing more of the same but with a few extra bits this year. It’s about getting as many people as possible involved and bringing the community together to make our environment and neighbourhood a better place.”

He thanked all the residents and Soha Housing for their support. “It’s like all the ingredients to a cake,” he said. “The more ingredients you have and the more people you have involved, the better it is.”

He also thanked his parents Chris and Ann who pay for and plant up the flowers at the entrance to the estate off Greys Road each year.

Mr Eggleton, who lives in Gainsborough Road, is also a town councillor and chairman of Henley in Bloom.

Mrs Isaac, also of Gainsborough Road, said: “We try to involve the community with all the projects we have going on. This award is a testament to the hard work put in by everyone.”

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