Photo gallery: Norwich named top city in Anglia in Bloom Awards

We all know Norwich is 'blooming marvellous,' and after being crowned best city in the Anglia in Bloom 2012 awards it is clear that the rest of the region agrees.

Thanks to the amazing horticultural efforts of a vast range of people, Norwich was honoured as the winner of the city (with up to 200,000 residents) category at yesterday's regional awards ceremony –and local communities also scooped a further five accolades in the annual competition that spans six counties.

The city's Mancroft Ward (including The Lanes) won the urban community and most improved categories, while the University of East Anglia's broad and marsh won the biodiversity award. Chapelfield Gardens was named the best public open space, and the Grapes Hill Community Garden was hailed the best community project.

For 25 years the Friends of Norwich in Bloom have championed the city's floral campaign, and the group's chairman Terry Bane declared the city's 2012 Anglia in Bloom success to be a wonderful result in their special anniversary year.

He paid tribute to all the hard work of everyone who helps to make Norwich a beautiful place to live.


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Speaking from the awards at St Ives, in Cambridgeshire, he said: 'I am just so pleased and honoured to be chairman of the Friends of Norwich in Bloom in this special year. I just love working with people and trying to help to achieve great things like this.

'It is all about community, community, community, and I think this is about the highest amount of accolades that the city of Norwich has received at Anglia in Bloom. I am just really, really pleased.

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'It will be the icing on the cake if we can bring back gold for Norwich in the city category at the RHS Britain in Bloom finals as well in October.'

Bill Webster, ambassador for Friends of Norwich in Bloom, said he believed it was the fourth time Norwich had won the city category at Anglia in Bloom.

He said: 'We feel as though we have swept the board this year, and to do that when there are such high standards across the region is a fantastic job.

'It is due to the hard work by the public, Norwich City Council, the Friends of Norwich in Bloom and many others all working together – that is the answer, cooperation and working together.'

Norwich's Lord Mayor Ralph Gayton also hailed the city's achievements.

He said: 'This is a wonderful result and it is a feather in the cap of everyone who has been involved.

'To win the award for the whole city was extremely good and then to win five other awards – it really puts Norwich on the map. It is a testament to all of the efforts of the people who organised the entries and all the people who did all the work on the ground in the various categories.

'I am delighted and hope we can keep that standard up and even improve on it.

'It is great stuff – congratulations all round.'

Nick Bond, head of VisitNorwich, said the city's awards would be a great boost for tourism.

He said: 'Norwich's six accolades in the Anglia in Bloom Awards, and especially its success in the City Award, are another tremendous example of why Norwich is such a great place to be, and that drives tourists to think of the city as a fantastic place to visit. The same is true of other recent successes including the city's UNESCO City of Literature status, the extraordinary events around the Olympic Torch Relay and at the Norfolk and Norwich Festival; great things are happening here and people want a slice of the action.'

Lydia Smith, director of Norfolk Tourism, said: 'We all know that Norfolk is a beautiful county. The floral displays created by local communities add to this beauty and provide a very colourful welcome for visitors.

'The excellence of their work has been recognised with a superb result in the Anglia in Bloom awards. Congratulations to all the winners.' The national RHS Britain in Bloom finals, for which Norwich is shortlisted in the city category, will take place in Guernsey on October 4. The city is competing against Northampton, Oldham, Westminster and Aberdeen.

In 2008 Norwich won the urban regeneration category in the national awards.

Are you involved in a new community project in Norwich? Call reporter Emma Knights on 01603 772428 or email emma.knights@archant.co.uk

Share your favourite pictures of Norwich in Bloom on our iwitness website at www.iwitness24.co.uk

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