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District Schools in Bloom

St Albans City and District Council's Parks and Green Spaces Team are once again running the District Schools in Bloom competition for 2021!

This is now in its 8th year, and we are really pleased to be running the competition in partnership with the Herts and Middlesex Wildlife Trust, the Environment Agency, John O’Conner, Burston Garden Centre and Carpenters Nursery.

District Schools in Bloom 2021

Why take part in District Schools in Bloom 2021? Toggle accordion

District Schools in Bloom 2021 is aimed at schools within St Albans City and District that are delivering the KS1 and KS2 Curriculum. The competition will complement elements of the Curriculum and will support children with their learning and development.

The competition provides an opportunity for pupils to learn about the principles of gardening and to develop their gardening skills. All the categories in this competition are based on the theme of wildlife gardening. This will help pupils to understand the vital role that gardens play in providing habitats and refuge for nature and wildlife. These wildlife havens are essential, especially in the face of habitat loss and fragmentation in the wider landscape, and also as climate change becomes more evident.

District Schools in Bloom has been very successful over the last seven years, even despite the Covid-19 restrictions throughout 2020. It has been thoroughly enjoyed by all the children and teachers who have taken part.

How will the competition be run this year? Toggle accordion

Unfortunately, we are still unable to run the full competition in its usual format due to the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic. However, we are still keeping the competition going in the best way that we can. We feel that now, more than ever, it’s so important to get children outdoors and engaging with nature. Not only will this help our wildlife, but it is also essential for health and well-being, especially during these unprecedented times.

There are FIVE categories to choose from this year, and you can enter as many of these categories as you wish!

Please share the competition details with parents whilst the children are at home, and encourage as many children as possible from your school to take part! Once again, all the categories can be done either at home or at school, or both! We’d love for children to get outdoors and get gardening, both at home during school closures and/or periods of isolation, and also in the school garden when they return to school!

As we are unable to visit your school for judging again this year, we are once again asking for digital entries to be submitted (photos and /or photo collages). We’d be grateful if the photos, and also the final Sunflower measurements, could be collated and submitted to us by your school, by Friday 17th September 2021. Please email all entries to

Depending on Government regulations, we may be able to undertake a ‘Mystery Shop’ visit to your school at the beginning of July, to look at some of the entries and see how entrants are progressing! If this is possible, then we will be in contact later in the year to confirm dates/times.

Full details about this year's competition can also be found in the attached 'District Schools in Bloom 2021 - Information Leaflet'.

The Categories! Toggle accordion

There are FIVE categories in this year's competition. You can enter as many as you wish!

  • Crafting Nature: create a piece of artwork made entirely from natural materials!
  • Going Wild!: explore ways in which you can encourage wildlife to visit your garden, by helping to provide food, homes and habitats for a diversity of species. If you can, dedicate a small patch/area/pot or container in your garden that is just for wildlife! Leave it to go wild and see what grows! Carry out a butterfly and/or wildlife survey too and see what species you can identify!
  • Plant to Plate: try growing some fruit and / or vegetables in your garden, and demonstrate how this can be done in an environmentally friendly way. Show how the produce has been used and/or the techniques that you have used to preserve it.
  • Potty for Wildlife: use pots and containers to add extra wildlife features in to your garden and attract more wildlife!
  • Super Sunflowers!: grow some Sunflowers and see if you can grow the TALLEST Sunflower!

Full details on each of these categories are outlined in the attached 'District Schools in Bloom 2021 - Categories' document!

The Prizes! Toggle accordion

Although we will not be able to hold our usual Awards Ceremony this year, prizes and certificates will still be awarded for the Winners and Runners Up, and all other schools taking part will still receive a goody bag!

This year, we will once again arrange for the certificates, prizes and goody bags to be delivered to your school, following the judging later in the year!

How you can get involved Toggle accordion

For ideas on how you can get involved, and for possible activities, please see the attached 'District Schools in Bloom 2021 - Categories' document, and also the following links below on the Herts and Middlesex Wildlife Trust website: 

Actions for WildlifeWildlife Gardening

Wildlife Watch

You may wish to visit the Grebe House Wildlife Garden which is located next to the Herts and Middlesex Wildlife Trust Head Office in Verulamium Park, St Albans. This is an excellent example of a wildlife garden. Please note that you will need to check the current opening times in line with the latest Government regulations:

Grebe House Wildlife Garden

The Winners of District Schools in Bloom 2020! Toggle accordion

The Winners of District Schools in Bloom 2020 were:

  • Crafting Nature: Crabtree Junior School
  • Garden Giants: Wheatfields Infants & Nursery School 
  • The Super Sunflower Challenge!: Park Street C of E V A Primary School & Nursery

We really hope that you will be able to take part in District Schools in Bloom 2021. Please see below some important dates for your diary:   

  • Confirm whether taking part by: Friday 26th March 2021.
  • Deadline for digital entries (photos and/or photo collages) and final Sunflower measurements (submitted by school): Friday 17th September 2021.
  • ‘Mystery shop’ visit to school: week commencing Monday 5th July 2021 (depending on Government regulations).

We look forward to receiving your entries!

District Schools in Bloom 2021