Norwich’s horticultural champions hope to toast 30th anniversary with international success

Anglia in Bloom's Mancroft Ward Urban Community judging. Members of Norwich in Bloom and Anglia in B

Anglia in Bloom's Mancroft Ward Urban Community judging. Members of Norwich in Bloom and Anglia in Bloom judges pictured in St Stephen's Church gardens.Picture: ANTONY KELLY - Credit: Archant

For nearing three decades they have kept our fine city looking bright and beautiful, and next year Norwich's award-winning horticultural champions hope to toast their group's 30th anniversary with international success.

Britain in Bloom UK Final judges Darren Share and Rae Beckwith during their visit to Norwich.Picture

Britain in Bloom UK Final judges Darren Share and Rae Beckwith during their visit to Norwich.Picture by SIMON FINLAY. - Credit: Archant Norfolk

The Friends of Norwich in Bloom will be leading the city's entry into a worldwide competition and is appealing for local businesses to get involved with the campaign.

Terry Bane, Friends of Norwich in Bloom trustee and ambassador, said: 'In 2016 The Friends of Norwich in Bloom will be celebrating our 30th anniversary, to mark the occasion we are delighted to let you know Norwich has been invited and accepted an invitation to participate in the International Communities in Bloom Challenge run via Canada.

'We are also delighted to let everyone know once again Norwich is a national RHS Britain in Bloom finalist in the urban community category with Mancroft in Bloom.'

He said the team of volunteers was now appealing for a main sponsor for International Communities in Bloom Challenge bid. The group is also encouraging local companies to sign up as business members of the Friends of Norwich in Bloom for £100.

The Britain in Bloom judges, front, Jeff Bates and Sue Wood, ready to tour the city. With them from

The Britain in Bloom judges, front, Jeff Bates and Sue Wood, ready to tour the city. With them from left, Bob Lloyd, deputy city crier; Leigh Croft, operations team leader from Norwich Norse; and Keith Driver and Julie Brociek-Coulton from Norwich in Bloom. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY - Credit: Copyright: Archant 2015

The international horticultural quest comes after the city enjoyed an award-winning 2015, including being among the communities honoured at national level at this year's RHS Britain in Bloom awards.

'It has been another particularly successful year for Norwich and our fantastic horticultural and environmental active volunteers and participants at schools, neighbourhoods and communities,' said Mr Bane, who along with Jo and Reg Chiddick has been part of the Friends since it was first formed in 1986.

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After being chairman of the board of trustees for the last four years, Mr Bane has become the group's ambassador, a role previously undertaken by Friends of Norwich in Bloom stalwart Bill Webster who died in 2014.

Mr Bane won the national Amberol Photo Competition in November and for his prize he arranged for some special hogshead barrels full of plants to be put in place next to the Bill Webster memorial bench at The Assembly House in Norwich.

Any businesses interested in sponsoring Norwich's entry for the Communities in Bloom International Challenge or becoming a Friends of Norwich in Bloom business member or sponsor should call 07768 287081 or email terry@banedell.orangehome.co.uk

For more about the Friends of Norwich in Bloom, visit www.norwichinbloom.co.uk