This lunchtime (Friday 30th May) Alderman May Beattie, Chairperson of the Parks, Countryside and Amenities Sub-Committee for Carrickfergus Borough Council launched Carrickfergus in Bloom 2014 in the grounds of the Andrew Jackson Cottage. Local school children and community representatives from throughout Carrickfergus Borough joined in with Alderman Billy Ashe, Mayor of Carrickfergus to the sounds of the APEX Jazz Band.
Alderman Beattie said “Carrickfergus hosted the Translink Ulster in Bloom awards ceremony this year and as hosts we notched up no less than five awards, the most the Borough has ever achieved in some twenty years of competing. Additionally, both Carrickfergus and Whitehead have been nominated to represent the province in the prestigious 2014 Britain in Bloom Awards in the “Large Town” and “Small Town” categories respectively. Carrickfergus Borough Council has a long and active role in supporting community horticulture which goes far beyond the decorative. In fact, one of the five awards achieved this year was a special award for outstanding achievement for its programmes promoting biodiversity.”
Alderman Beattie continued “Carrickfergus Borough Council is committed to our localCarrickfergus in Bloom initiative. This year the challenge goes out to everybody who lives and works within the Borough of Carrickfergus. Whether you plant a hanging basket, enter one of the community gardening competitions, plant a tree, start growing fruit and vegetables or put up bird box, there is something for everyone to do and enjoy in their garden or in the community green space that we all benefit from. This year we are continuing with the Carrickfergus in Bloom Community Competition. Categories include Best Kept Garden for individuals; For children we have Painting and Poetry Competitions and the very popular Tallest Sunflower Competition. For the Business Community we have hotly fought categories such as Best Kept Shop. These competitions not only brighten up our Borough but have been fundamental to our success in Ulster in Bloom. Let’s make 2014 another winning years for our Borough.”
Alderman Beattie also announced that in the next few weeks the Council will plant out thousands of summer bedding plants and thanked the many sponsors for their generous support and commitment to the Carrickfergus in Bloom initiative. She also thanked the local schools who have shown such commitment to the Carrickfergus in Bloom initiative. “The Schools Growing Club initiative is a great success and young people throughout the Borough are already benefiting with the link between healthy eating and growing fruit and vegetables at home and school. The growing schools initiative offers students the benefit of practical hands on activities, helping to motivate and enhance their learning experience.”
Alderman Beattie continued “In 2014 we will continue with the Carrickfergus in Bloom campaigns of promoting capacity building through our grants initiative; we will also be encouraging wildlife gardening thought the Blooming Wild campaign; as well as the food growing campaign with initiatives such as the One Pot Pledge. Fruit and vegetable growing is also taking place at Eden Allotment Gardens and our new allotment site at Greenisland. We thank Sunnybank Garden Centre for continuing their support of the Best Kept Allotment Competition. If residents are interest in obtaining an allotment visit our website: www.carrickfergus.org/allotments. ”
Alderman Beattie also highlighted the important partnership working that is carried out. “Carrickfergus Borough Council along with the Department of Environment, Northern Ireland Housing Executive plus various community and charitable groups are working together to improve the environment of our Borough."