Norwich plays host to Royal Horticultural Society Britain in Bloom finalists

Norwich has played host to finalists from across the country taking part in a national competition celebrating horticulture.

As previously reported, Norwich has been named a finalist in the city category of the 2012 Royal Horticultural Society Britain in Bloom UK Finals.

Today the city was the location for a special seminar for all the finalists taking part in the different categories, and about 100 people attended the event at the Assembly House.

Roger Burnett, chairman of the RHS Britain in Bloom UK judging panel, said all the 73 Britain in Bloom finalists were already winners in their communities, and said this year there was a 'bumper crop of finalists.'

He also paid tribute to the fact the Friends of Norwich in Bloom is celebrating its 25th anniversary.

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Lord Mayor Jenny Lay welcomed the finalists to Norwich, and praised the hard work put in all year round by the Friends of Norwich in Bloom to keep the city looking beautiful.

The finalists had a chance to meet the Britain in Bloom judges and other competitors, and find out more details about the competition. There was also a talk on wildflowers because the Britain in Bloom campaign is encouraging communities to sow wildflowers to celebrate the Queen's Diamond Jubilee.

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Friends of Norwich in Bloom ambassador Bill Webster said it was an honour for Norwich to host Today's seminar, and a big achievement to be a 2012 finalist.

Jo Chiddick, also from Friends of Norwich in Bloom, said the seminar had been very useful and what was discussed would help the Friends of Norwich in Bloom strengthen the city's entry.

She said: 'We hope to raise our standard of horticultural excellence, environmental issues and community participation to ensure that the judges see the very best of our city.'

Norwich is competing against Northampton, Oldham, Westminster and Aberdeen in the city category this year. In 2008 the city won the urban regeneration category. Other Norfolk finalists this year are Filby, in the village category, and Great Yarmouth, in the coastal over 12,000 population category.

• Is your organisation up for a national award? Call reporter Emma Knights on 01603 772428 or email

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