Knutsford is in full bloom with a new welcome for visitors.
Large wooden planters have now been set around the ‘Welcome to Knutsford’ signs in Northwich Road, Knutsford Road and Chelford Road.
A smaller hanging planter is also on display on the Toft Road entry sign as part of the town’s submission for the North West in Bloom competition.
RHS judges were in Knutsford on 18th July to assess the town in the categories of horticultural achievement, environmental responsibility and community involvement for its entry.
Over the past two years Knutsford has won gold at North West in Bloom thanks to the hard work of the volunteers who maintain planters and beds around the town. Their efforts are supported by the Town Ranger, ANSA Environmental Services (Cheshire East) and the Town Council.
This year the judges were greeted by some traditional Knutsford street sanding at the council offices before embarking on a tour which took in Sparrow Lane allotments, Bexton Primary School’s garden and the floral displays in the town centre. Along the way the judges met volunteers from Friends of the Heath, Friends of the Moor, Knutsford in Bloom, Knutsford Heritage Centre garden volunteers and Town Ranger Bob Garner to talk about their contributions to the ‘In Bloom’ campaign.
The ‘Welcome to Knutsford’ flowers, planted by sponsor T & S Riley, will be replanted to bloom throughout the seasons and watered by the Town Ranger.
The Mayor of Knutsford, Cllr Pete Coan, said ‘’I would personally like to thank all the residents and businesses who worked so hard to make the town look splendid. It really does make such a difference to see the town coming together, yet again to show off their civic pride’’
Cllrs and Power and Coan watering the Northwich Road planter before the judges arrive
Knutsford has been awarded ‘gold’ in the RHS North West in Bloom competition for a second year running. Spearheaded by community group Knutsford in Bloom, this follows the Town achieving Silver Gilt from 2010-2015.
Knutsford also won the North West in Bloom “Best Commercial Effort” award for its incredible business displays as part of RHS Tatton. At the earlier It’s Your Neighbourhood awards Knutsford won two Outstanding awards for the Longridge & Shaw Heath in Bloom projects and resident Jean Vann’s allotments at Sparrow Lane!
Yvonne Bancroft, Knutsford in Bloom chairman, said: “The Gold award is not just about flower displays, but also the community doing things together. Knutsford has so many voluntary organisations and all these things do contribute.”
Deputy Chairman of Knutsford Town Council’s Environment Committee, Cllr James Power said “A massive thank you must go to all the dedicated volunteers; it is blooming marvellous that we have been awarded Gold by the judges”.
2018 sees Knutsford Town Council increasing its involvement in the In Bloom competitions as it takes on responsibility for the hanging baskets, barrier planters and competition entry.
George Osborne MP for Tatton met with Cllr James Power the Chair of the Tour of Britain Sub-committee, Cllr Hayley Wells-Bradshaw, Rupert Wakefield from Event Buddha and Heather Clawson from TEM Events (part of Tatton Estate Management) to discuss the upcoming race which is coming through Knutsford Twice on 6 September.
L-R Rupert Wakefield of Event Buddha, Cllr James Power, Heather Clawson of TEM Events, Cllr Hayley Wells-Bradshaw and George Osborne. Credit: WA16 PR
The meeting was held at The Courtyard Coffee House, which is home to the Penny Farthing museum, a celebration of one of the earliest types of bicycle. Its popularity in the late Victorian era coincided with the birth of cycling as a sport.
To promote the race over 30 bikes have been professionally sprayed by Cheshire Auto body free of charge. The orange bikes have been put in place and decorated by local businesses. George Osborne George said: “I am so proud that Cheshire East is hosting the third stage of this prestigious cycling race and preparations are well underway across my constituency to celebrate. The whole community is coming together to mark the event and I have lost count of the number of orange bikes I’ve seen in our towns and villages.”
“Anyone who, like me, has cycled in the hills around Macclesfield will know that this is going to be a tough race for the competitors so I hope that everyone will line the streets to cheer them on.”
Cllr James Power said: “The Tour of Britain is going to be superb and will really highlight the beauty and the character of the town. We have worked very hard with TEM events and Event Buddha to create our very own Cycle Festival on the Heath. The Cyclefest is free to enter and will be a great way to promote Knutsford.”
Heather Clawson said, “TEM Events and the Tatton Estates are thrilled to be working with Knutsford Town Council, local firms and the hugely successful Makers Market team to showcase our town’s unique character and history and have agreed a generous profit share from the event going back to the town for the good of the whole community.”
One of the Town Council’s key aims as part of its 2020 Vision was to protect, maintain and safeguard Knutsford’s street trees and woodlands. As part of this aim, the Town Council will be investigating applying for additional Tree Preservation Orders (TPOs) for important trees within the town.
Cllrs James Power, Peter Coan and Charlotte Greenstein
TPOs are made by Cheshire East Council in order to protect specific trees, groups of trees or woodlands in the interests of amenity and this prohibits felling, topping, lopping, uprooting, wilful damage and wilful destruction of trees without written consent.
There are already a large number of trees protected, either specifically by TPOs or as part of the town’s Conservation Areas. Five town councillors have volunteered to walk their wards to assess if any further trees need adding to the schedule of protected trees.
Councillors Yvonne Bancroft and Peter Coan will be surveying Over Ward, Cllr James Power will be walking Nether Ward, Cllr Simon Hutchence, Bexton Ward and Cllr Charlotte Greenstein has taken on Norbury Booths.
Orders are mainly used for trees where the removal would result in a significant negative impact on the local environment and its enjoyment by the public and where protection would bring a reasonable degree of public benefit in the present or future.
“If any member of the public knows of a tree or woodland that they believe should be protected, they can help by sending a photograph and a description of the location to us” said Town Clerk, Adam Keppel-Garner.
Photographs and information can be sent to the Town Clerk at firstname.lastname@example.org or to the Council Offices.