Growing for, growing for GOLD!

Orpington businesses’ continued investment in the town centre environment was recognised at a national awards ceremony earlier this month.

Following on from a category win in London in Bloom last year, and a second consecutive gold medal in this year’s London in Bloom competition, Orpington 1st is delighted to announce that our town centre was awarded a Gold Medal at the prestigious Britain in Bloom awards held in October 2022.

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Britain in Bloom is the largest horticultural campaign in the United Kingdom. First held in 1963, the awards have been organised by Royal Horticultural Society's (RHS) since 2001, aiming to inspire groups to "make positive changes to their local environment”. Across eight categories forty-six groups were represented at this year’s ceremony, hosted by gardener, presenter, and actress Rachel de Thame.

Britain in bloom winners 2022 website

Bloom host Rachel de Thame, presenting Chris Travers and Sharon Baldwin of Orpington 1st with the business community's Gold Award

Parklet 2

The judges, who visited in August in one of the driest summers on record, were impressed by businesses resourceful horticultural efforts given the linear concrete nature of the high street, and by attempts to create a sense of identity through partnership working.

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Orpington’s entry into the BIDs, Town Centres & City Centres category included the thirty flower cubes which peppered the high street with colour through the summer months - red, white, and blue for jubilee year, complementing flags and bunting.

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Above: Pop Up Panto at the leisure centre pallet park - enjoyed by the young visitors below

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As well as creating spots for additional planting, the leisure centre Pallet Park and High Street parklets provided spots to take a break – but also hosted pop-up pantomime and buskers during the Orpington Literary Festival. Several businesses adopted the Safer Space Planters brought in during the period of covid restrictions, creating a more pleasant and welcoming environment to their own premises.

Orpington Royal British Legions planters looking bloomin lovely

Orpington Royal British Legion were one of the businesses to adopt Safer Space Planters - and do a great job

Orpington resident and founder of McQueen Hair & Beauty Salons, Fiona Russell, said, “We’re so pleased that Orpington has been recognised in this way. It really is testament to the business community’s investment in the town centre environment, and it demonstrates what we can achieve working together.”

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The Walnuts Leisure Centre team did a superb job of maintaining Pallet Park planters

Orpington 1st Executive Director Chris Travers discussed businesses’ achievement with BBC Radio Kent’s Andy Garland on his ‘Sunday Gardening’ show. 

Congratulations go to Amersham, who finished overall winners, as announced on BBC’s The One show by Matt Allwright.

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