Ripon strikes gold at Yorkshire in Bloom

Brenda Anderson, right - pictured with  Carol McIntyre and Pat Hall - won a community championship award for her 20 years of horticultural work.
Brenda Anderson, right - pictured with Carol McIntyre and Pat Hall - won a community championship award for her 20 years of horticultural work.

Gardeners in Ripon were celebrating a bumper crop of prizes at this year’s Yorkshire in Bloom competition, after winning gold in three categories.

Ripon struck gold in the large town, visitor attraction and young people’s award categories for its beautiful floral displays and impressive gardens.

Ripon won the large town category with a population of 12 to 36 thousand in the awards, despite having city status.

It was hailed for its maturing sustainable planting at Bedern Bank, its range of recycling facilities, the absence of litter and the Temple Garden.

Ripon Racecourse also won gold in the visitor attraction category for the third year running.

James Hutchinson, managing director of Ripon Racecourse, said: “We are delighted to win. It’s great recognition of the hard work we put into maintaining the racecourse.

“We have standards that we work towards and hopefully we can keep reaching our targets.”

Judges said that Ripon Racecourse, known as Yorkshire’s Garden Racecourse, “certainly lived up to its name” with its abundance of hanging baskets, balcony boxes and flowering cherry trees.

Moorside Infant School on Harrogate Road won gold in the young people’s category for the school’s wildlife areas and its three outdoor classroom.

In addition to securing gold in three group categories, horticultural fan Brenda Anderson won a community champion award for her decades of work with Yorkshire in Bloom.

Ms Anderson, 77, has helped to organise the Ripon entry to the competition for 20 years, and can frequently be found planting baskets on Market Place.

Judges said Ms Anderson, who is a founding member of Ripon in Bloom, has always been keen to involve young people in the competition and is always eager to pass on her ideas.

“I was absolutely amazed to win the award,” she said.

“It’s good for Ripon tourism and good for Ripon’s people to be recognised in this way.”