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Sunday, 26 October 2014

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Gardeners’ efforts recognised with Heart of Ulverston award nomination

THE hard work of a small band of dedicated gardeners has been recognised with a nomination for a Heart of Ulverston award.

Do you know someone who lives, works, or has a strong connection to Ulverston who you think deserves an award? Click here to nominate them

Five members of the Ulverston in Bloom scheme, responsible for the recent transformation of the town’s Jubilee Gardens, have been put forward in the Community Group of the Year category, sponsored by Furness Building Society.

The handful of regular volunteers meet on Wednesdays throughout the year to keep the many flower tubs and garden beds in the town well maintained and attractive.

Pat Bentley, a volunteer with the group, said: “I’ve really enjoyed doing it and it’s nice people have realised the effort we’ve put in. Hopefully, people have walked around town and noticed the work that we do.

“There’s usually about five of us, and I think we’re all retired now, but it’s something we all do just to keep Ulverston looking good.”

The group’s responsibilities have steadily increased as South Lakeland District Council scales back funding for the work involved. The members put in hundreds of hours each year and they also provide many of the plants from their own gardens. Recently they have added a strong supporting role to the Incredible Edibles campaign and organised a successful Open Gardens weekend last month.

In the past year, the group’s biggest project was to transform the rose garden at the bus station in Victoria Road into the Jubilee Gardens, creating a welcoming seated area despite the attention of litter louts and vandals.

Mrs Bentley said: “It was rather neglected, but now it looks wonderful. It’s a very nice place for people to come and sit while they wait for a bus.”

Their example has been followed by many businesses and residents in the town centre, who are increasing the greenery around their houses and shop fronts, but Mrs Bentley hopes the nomination brings the group more attention and helps lift volunteer numbers.

She said: “We could be doing a lot more, but we need more people to join us. It’s something we do just because we love the town, and hopefully there are a few more people out there who are keen to get involved.”

This year’s Heart of Ulverston Awards, sponsored by the Evening Mail, Siemens, GSK and Ulverston Victoria High School, will be at the Coronation Hall on October 10.

Prizes will be awarded for 11 categories: Citizen of the Year, Young Citizen of the Year, Group or Project of the Year, Teacher of the Year, Sports Volunteer of the Year, Carer of the Year, Courage Award, Environmental Volunteer, Parent/ Guardian of the Year, Employee of the Year, Lifetime Achievement Award. The closing date for nominations is July 31.

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