Despite a global pandemic, Cranleigh in Bloom has maintained its Gold standard at the latest South & South East in Bloom Awards.
Due to social distancing measures and travel restrictions, judges this year assessed the village remotely using a desktop assessment to consider a variety of factors.
Volunteers prepared a comprehensive report detailing the work carried out by Cranleigh in Bloom over the past twelve months.
The judges for South & South East in Bloom felt the report allowed them to travel through the months of the year with the volunteers, as they described their achievements and challenges.
They noted a strong sense of community in Cranleigh which will allow the village to adjust to the new reality of Covid-19.
Cranleigh in Bloom was congratulated for the variety of autumn and winter displays which provide a welcoming presence throughout the year.
They were also congratulated for maintaining such widespread support in 2020 and for engaging with the Women’s Institute.
A special mention was made for the work of Cranleigh Lions during the pandemic, with many local people benefiting from their hard work.
Will at Little Manor Service Station was praised for his hanging basket display and for providing plants to brighten up the planters in Stocklund Square.
Jane Briggs was congratulated for planting up and looking after the floral displays in Fountain Square, along with her team of volunteers. The judges were pleased to see a further step away from annual bedding planting here.
With shops reopening after the lockdown, the judges were happy to see summer pots being planted up, as well as numerous residents selling plants from their driveways.
There were good wishes for the continued fight against littering in Cranleigh, with a special mention for Cranleigh Parish Council which devoted time each day to pick up litter. Cranleigh in Bloom led an initiative to encourage children to support litter picking, as part of the 30 Days Wild project.
There were congratulations from the judges on the historic water fountain in Fountain Square now being operational and for the start of bench cleaning. The addition of new benches at Cranleigh Arts Centre and on the Common means benches are more widely accessible.
The judges were pleased to learn that maintenance was able to continue at the Cranleigh Village Hospital garden, Centenary Garden and Arts Centre, with three new volunteers gained for the Beryl Harvey Conservation Field.
They were excited for the addition of beehives here, with a target completion date of 2021.
Reduced mowing has meant an increase in wildflowers at both Village Way wildflower area and the Library and Arts Centre, with St Nicolas Church flourishing for wildlife too.
Despite the obvious difficulties, the judges said it sounds like the community have done as much as possible to support fellow residents and also Cranleigh in Bloom.
Recognising the community achievement and commitment plays such a vital role in moral, the judges were happy to read about past events at the end of 2019.
The addition of crafters means the Bloom can be further supported through community initiatives and they loved to read about the 1,000’s of Poppies that were made for Remembrance and also the way the Pompom tree changes throughout the year; white in winter and blue for autism awareness.
To hear that a mother feels more connected through this act surely makes it worthwhile.
The judges finished by saying congratulations once again on everything achieved in Cranleigh, especially during the lockdown, and good luck for the year ahead.