West Norfolk’s top gardeners sought

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The green-fingered are being invited to show off their skills by entering the allotment challenge or front garden competition this summer.

The deadline set by West Norfolk Council for the allotment challenge is Tuesday, June 30. Judging will be held the first week of July. Plot holders from all 13 sites across Lynn are welcome to take part.

Talented gardeners and allotment holders are being invited to show off their skills by entering the Allotment Challenge or Front Garden competition this summer.

The categories for this year’s allotment awards are: Best Kept Allotment, Best Group Allotment, Best Newcomer Allotment (held for less than one year), Most Improved Allotment, Best Novice Allotment (held for less than two years), Best Self-Managed Association Site, Most Innovative Allotment.

Eligible allotment holders have been invited to enter and application forms have been sent to the secretaries of the self-managed sites.

Entries for this year’s Front Garden Competition have also opened. Email westnorfolkinbloom@west-norfolk.gov.uk or call 01553 782076. Entries must be received by June 30.

Judges will be looking for gardens in Lynn that have a positive impact on the street scene, with points awarded for variety and health of plants, neatness of paths and hedges, weed-free spaces and overall garden design.

Those lacking garden space can still get involved by entering the ‘Window Box’ category. West Norfolk Mind have volunteered to make window boxes for the price of £5. They can be purchased direct from West Norfolk Mind ready to be planted and decorated by entrants.

Mrs Elizabeth Nockolds, Borough Council Cabinet Member for Culture, Heritage and Health with responsibility for allotments, said: “The popularity of allotments in our borough has not waned and we continue to receive a lot of interest in them. The health benefits of looking after an allotment are enormous. Not only because of the exercise involved in weeding, hoeing, digging and so on but also because of the fresh fruit and vegetables they yield.”

“I am always keen to visit the allotments during the judging to see what interesting crops people have grown and to hear about how they have overcome challenges with their allotments.”

Cllr Nockolds will be joined by representatives of King’s Lynn Horticultural Society and members of the public open space team at the council to make up the judging panel and they will be looking for allotments that are neatly maintained, free from weeds, with a variety of quality crops that are vigorous and free from pest or disease damage. Additional credit will be given for those dealing with odd shaped plots or poor soil conditions.

Anyone wishing to get involved with allotments but not quite ready to take on their own can assist with the community allotment in The Walks. Get in touch via Facebook www.facebook.com/KingsLynnCommunityAllotment or Twitter @KLynnAllotment

First prize for the Front Garden competition is a chainsaw carving of an owl, kindly donated by Shaun Gilbert (Spirit of Norfolk), carved by him at the recent Spring Plant and Craft Fair in the Tuesday Market Place. National Garden Vouchers and hand tools will also be awarded.

Mrs Nockolds added: “These competitions are an opportunity for us to acknowledge the contribution that residents make towards the appearance of the town and to thank them for helping to ensure that West Norfolk always looks its best.”