About Us

Who we are

RHS Barnstaple in Bloom was formed in January 2021 during the pandemic in response to the need to tidy up our town and bring pride to our collective areas. We are all volunteers and have a committee which meets regularly to manage our activities and finances. “RHS Britain in Bloom is a year-round competition that allows groups to compete on a regional or national level using gardening to transform their communities.”. When it was originally established in 1963 the focus of the Britain in Bloom competition was the floral displays. However now the competition is judged on how all sectors of the local community are managing their local environment, with 40% or marks being awarded for Horticulture, 30% for Environment and 30% Community. Barnstaple in Bloom follows these principles carefully using the judging criteria to make decisions about what we do and where we focus our energies. The work we do is sustainable and embedded in good practice, rather than a “one hit” floral wonder. Added to this we believe that plants, clean streets and our time and care, make people feel safer and happier!

Our principles

To be welcoming and inclusive
We aim to provide a series of activities and engagement opportunities for everyone, from all backgrounds and all ages to participate in. Some of our work is quite physical but for those who are not able to weed, plant or litter pick we give other options such as craft flower activities or making art to go on walls.

To develop and improve the sense of community.

We believe that strong and active communities make a significant difference to the quality of life of all. Businesses thrive and standards of service from the local authorities rise, because of everyone doing a little bit. A sense of “belonging” to a community improves mental health and self-esteem. In Barnstaple, we have several communities across the town, and we are gradually galvanising them to work together to improve their areas.

To be wildlife friendly to improve biodiversity.

Climate change and awareness of the impact we have on our surroundings is at the heart of our mission. Planting schemes are always developed with pollinators and birds in mind. Increasing the nectar rich plants and ensuring that we use a variety of plants is taken seriously and we continually research and learn using many local experts, such as Quince Honey Farm and the Bumblebee Conservation Trust for advice and information.

Sustainability

Sustainability is at the core or what we do, whether it be sustainable planting and gardening methods, reusing plants and materials, upcycling materials e.g., pallet planters, using local growers, nurseries and business to minimise our impact on the environment.

Funding

Barnstaple in Bloom is entirely funded by donation, sponsorship and grants. We apply to a range of bodies for funding for specific projects. Our community and businesses are very generous in sponsoring our work. We also raise money through Quiz Nights, concerts and raffles.

Every penny we receive in funding is put towards Barnstaple in Bloom. Examples of our expenditure include:

Buying plants, seeds, bulbs, tools, and compost.
Purchasing and installing hanging basket watering system.
Paint and brackets for repairing benches and painting bollards.
Hanging and removing the hanging baskets.
Competition entry costs.