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Cllr Lynne Oldham, Chair


Kendal and the Bloom team have had another successful year.

The Bloom Committee decided that instead of the usual Kendal in Bloom competition we would try something different in response to feedback from the Cumbria in Bloom judges.

Our topic was to be ‘Love Where You Live’ which was to encourage the whole of the community to create attractive spaces and to have pride in where they live.

We were very pleased with the response received.  Gold awards went to Chestnut Events and Fairoak Housing.  Silver to Kendal Conservation Volunteers, Pembroke Court and River Kent Action Group and with a Bronze award going to the Shap Road Community Group and Linda Slater.

The Schools Challenge was  ‘Encouraging Wildlife’.  Five schools entered with some amazing ideas on how to do this.  Lots of thought had gone into this project and it was a privilege to have been one of the judges along with the Mayor, Cllr Chris Hogg.  A special thank you to Horticare who very kindly made bird and bug boxes for any of the schools who wanted to receive them.

A difficult decision had to be made but in the end there can only be one winner and that went to Castle Park School.  Silver went to Heron Hill and Bronze to Stramongate.   The Mayor’s Award went to Sandgate School.

Lots of other exciting things have taken place within our community.

The Rotarians re-planted crocus bulbs that were damaged when the new housing estate was built on Windermere Road and they also planted crocus bulbs on an area of land on Shap Road opposite Queen Katherine Avenue.  Something to look forward to in Spring after the very wet Winter!

The Kendal in Bloom Committee donated money to Manna House to set up and run a community garden as their previous site had been lost.

Four new planters have been placed at Jennings Bridge on Aynam Road.  At the South Lakes Housing site near Nether Bridge, the empty planters were kindly planted up by Horticare, as well as the beds near Nether Bridge.

Heron Hill School are working in partnership with parents, local residents and Kendal Conservation Volunteers on a tree planting project in the Millennium Wood.

Funding support has been given to Vicarage Park School to develop their project on creating raised beds in the school grounds.

In the run up to the Queens 90th birthday there is going to be the biggest every clean up of the country called ‘Clean for the Queen’ which will be taking place in March 2016.  Kendal will be involved and have formed a Committee called ‘Keep Kendal Mint Clean’.

In 2015, we had to say goodbye to our Town Handyperson Mike Shaw- he will be greatly missed.   The following is an extract from a letter sent to the Westmorland Gazette which celebrates the work done by Mike as well as the planting done by our contractors Horticare and Low Orchard.

“Kendal is a real paradise to drive through. The floral arrangements opposite the college, the Kendal coat of arms near Miller Bridge, the pyramids of hanging basket arrangements, the floral arrangements near the bus station and the stunning planter towers at the Town Hall entrance helps to make Kendal the tip top place it is.”

Mike has been replaced by John Belshaw and we welcome him to the Council.

The Peace Garden in Abbot Hall was created to commemorate the centenary of ‘the war to end all wars’ and to celebrate the role of twinning with Rinteln in Germany.  It consists of a peace pole with the message ‘May Peace Prevail’ facing the four corners of the earth.  The zigzag lines of posts and roses represent the zigzag lines of the trenches and barbed wire in the First World War.  The Peace Garden is planted up with perennials symbolising the four colourful seasons of the year,

Finally, but by far the least, I attended the Cumbria in Bloom awards ceremony at Dalton with the Committee Deputy, Cllr Phil Walker.  We were delighted to be presented with two awards.  Kendal’s first award was the Friends of the Lake District Trophy for best sustainable development and for the second year running we were awarded Best Large Town with a Silver Gilt.

This year, Kendal was exceptionally proud to have been selected to enter Britain in Bloom 2016.  So lots of hard work ahead of us in showing the judges how lovely a place Kendal is to live and visit.

I would like to thank the following for their support in 2015:

Gilkes, Cumberland Building Society, Lake District Estates, Blue Fin, Boyes, The Civic Society, Low Orchard, Horticare, Cumbria County Council, South Lakeland District Council, Continental Landscapes, the Kendal in Bloom Committee and members of the KTC staff.