Village in Bloom – It’s Your Neighbourhood 2012 Entry

One of the main aims Preston Residents Association is to improve the local environment while  building a sense of community in the village.  To drive this, we have this year (2012) entered the Village into the Royal Horticultaral Society ‘It’s Your Neighbourhood Campaign’.  The campaign is a grassroots community gardening campaign helping people to make lasting improvements to their local areas.  Groups are supported in their activities with advice and guidance, and receive annual feedback from expert IYN assessors, who provide tips on how further improvements can be made.  More information can be found on the RHS website.

Apple Blossom
Apple Blossom

This isn’t simply about adorning the village with flowers (although this is a big part of it).  We need to raise funds for planting, design floral beds, identify areas that need to be improved, reduce littering and generally improve the appearance of the area, all while involving as many residents as possible.  Residents with gardens need to be encouraged to keep them as tidy and as attractive as possible, and we aim to offer help to those unable to do this themselves.  Flower beds once planted will need to be maintained.

We have recently been successful in obtaining funding from North Tyneside Council to move these plans forward and have identified sites for initial work.  Last year we added a flower bed to the green area at the junction of Walton Avenue and Otterburn Road and replaced planting at Jackson Square; this is now growing well.  This year council cutbacks will limit what they can acheive, but we hope to be able to take over planting some of the areas and planters on Front Street and along Walton Road that are no longer covered by the council. We aim to replace the shrubbery in the raised beds on Moor Crest with more colourful planting, this was started by the council last year but funding constraints meant it has not yet been able to complete the work.  If anyone would like to help with this work please get in touch! As a result of direct lobbying by Preston Residents Association, the council have already increased bulb planting in the area and sited additional flower tubs at the entrance to Monkswood and around the village.

Do you have an interest in gardening and the environment?  Are you interested in learning about fundraising and planning?  If so please join us.  These projects can all form a useful part of personal advancement schemes such as Duke of Edinburgh Awards, scout honours and provide useful experience for vocational study courses.

.Yellow flower