Gunnislake wins top award from Royal Horticultural Society

By Jake Chown  
Thursday 24th October 2019 6:00 am
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Volunteers for Gunnislake Community Matters It’s Your Neighbourhood Scheme are pictured with their award, being held by youngster Madison Reeves. ()

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VILLAGERS in Gunnislake are celebrating after receiving the top level award from the Royal Horticultural Society (RHS).

The village received a Level 5 — Outstanding achievement for its entry into the RHS ‘It’s Your Neighbourhood’ campaign — part of the wider South West in Bloom competition.

Volunteer group Gunnislake Community Matters (GCM) entered the competition at the beginning of the year.

The various gardening projects in the village were visited by RHS assessor Josephine Spring in late summer and her report has provided the group with valuable feedback and advice for future entries.

At the awards ceremony in Newquay, chair of the GCM It’s Your Neighbourhood scheme Carol Green, was thrilled to receive the RHS outstanding certificate of achievement on behalf of the village.

Carol said: ‘We are so encouraged by this brilliant award.

‘It’s a unique scheme for volunteer-led community gardening projects which are focused on cleaning up and greening up our local area.

‘It’s all about bringing members of the community together to make a positive change to where we live.

‘Being recognised in our efforts by the Royal Horticultural Society is the icing on the cake.’

As a community, volunteers worked hard over the year to improve prominant areas of the village ahead of the competition.

The scheme’s core pillars of community participation, environmental responsibility and gardening achievement were demonstrated through a number of local gardening projects.

These included the colourful planters around the streets, village hall and car park, the Millenium Garden, St Anne’s Church community memorial garden, Gunnislake Primary Academy’s wiggly hedge and den on Foster’s Field and the Greater Horseshoe Bat project.

Also included was the flourishing Gunnislake Railway Station which also received its own, separate award.

The station came second in a category of the National Rail Awards for the community tile installation, masterminded by local potter Rosie Fierek (read more on page 4).

As part of the It’s Your Neighbourhood scheme, volunteers of all ages also developed a community edible garden in the centre of the village on the Orchard Green, next to the surgery.

In mid-February they planted six apple trees with strong, local heritage links.

These included Breadfruit and Miel d’or, both from the Tamar Valley, Cornish Pine, Callington Gillyflower, Cornish Aromatic and the Longkeeper from a tree in Luckett.

The vegetables and herbs in the raised beds have yielded well this season for anyone in the village to help themselves. Winter planting is due to take place in the near future.

The celebration continues on Saturday (October 26), at 10am at St Anne’s Churchyard, when the Reverend Chris Painter will unveil the memorial plaque in the new memorial garden.

Anyone is welcome to attend and refreshments will be available in the church hall afterwards.

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