Randalstown is expected to represent Northern Ireland in the Small Towns category in the upcoming Britain in Bloom 2022 competition, subject to Royal Horticultural Society (RHS) approval.
he city of Co Antrim was shortlisted last year, 2020, before the event was canceled due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
They then put the UK’s largest community gardening campaign online for 2021, but it is hoped that the 2022 Britain in Bloom competition will return next year. Organizers of next year’s competition have rewritten the judging criteria for the first time in 58 years of history, with a greater emphasis on prioritizing pollinator-friendly plants, minimizing the use of l water and the identification of local environmental problems using plants.
Randalstown has already won the Best Small Town category in the Ulster in Bloom competition, and the district mayor has said the town’s success is due to “the volunteer hours of the local community.”
The Mayor of Antrim and Newtownabbey, Councilor Billy Webb said: “I am delighted that Randalstown is representing all of Northern Ireland in the 2022 Britain in Bloom competition.
“The success and beauty of Randalstown is due to the volunteer hours of the local community and I cannot praise them enough for their efforts.
“It was a pleasure to support and encourage them and I wish them every success in the competition.”
In 2020, five finalists from Northern Ireland were shortlisted by the RHS for the competition, including Belfast, Ballymena, Cullybackey, Donaghmore and of course Randalstown.
In 2019, Castlecaulfield in County Tyrone won the Champion of Champions award, but the city narrowly fell to the Scottish city of Perth for the first honor.
Britain in Bloom is the UK’s oldest gardening competition and provides a regional and national platform for community groups to brighten up their town or city.
It is recognized across the UK as a symbol of excellence in community gardening, a strong community spirit and a place of pride.