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Schools in Bloom winners

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The annual Schools in Bloom contest for St Albans District was able to go ahead despite the COVID-19 pandemic with the winners having now been chosen.

St Albans City and District Council, which organises the hugely-popular event, made a number of changes to ensure it could still be held.

The deadline for entries was extended to mid-September after schools were reopened to all pupils following the lockdown.

Judges avoided making visits to schools by asking for entrants to submit photographs instead.

The competition is designed to encourage children of primary school age to take an active interest in the great outdoors and acquire some gardening skills. The winners and runners-up of the three categories, all St Albans unless stated, were:

Crafting Nature: artwork made entirely from natural materials with this category being part of the Hertfordshire Year of Culture 2020. Winner: Crabtree Junior School, Harpenden; runner-up: Skyswood Primary and Nursery School.

Garden Giants: the biggest fruit or vegetables. Winner: Wheatfields Infants and Nursery School for a pumpkin with a 77cm circumference; runner-up: WatlingView School with a 144cm high tomato plant.

Super Sunflower Challenge: the tallest sunflower. Winner: Park Street Church of England Primary School and Nursery with a 3.35m sunflower; runner-up: Maple Primary School, 3.23m

Judging took place online and included representatives from the Herts and Middlesex Wildlife Trust, grounds maintenance contractor John O’Conner and the Environment Agency.

Winners and runners-up are to receive prizes provided by Carpenters Nursery as well as certificates. All other entrants will be given a goodie bag donated by Burston Garden Centre.

Prizes for winners and the runners-up will include planters, soaker hoses, tip bags, compost, hand trowels, seed trays and wooden wall thermometers.

Councillor Anthony Rowlands, Portfolio Holder for Leisure, Heritage and Public Realm, said:

We decided to go ahead with the competition despite the challenges posed by the pandemic.

It gave pupils, particularly the children of key workers who were at school during the lockdown, the chance to take part in an educational activity with lots of positive outcomes.

I’m told the judges were hugely impressed by all the enthusiastic entries and it was difficult to choose the winners.

I’m sure all the children who took part will have learned more about their environment – a very important topic at a time when we are faced with a climate emergency.

Picture: the giant pumpkin grown by pupils from Wheatfields Infants and Nursery School.

Councillor contact: Councillor Anthony Rowlands, Portfolio Holder for Leisure, Heritage and Public Realm,, 07761 232064.

Media contact: 
John McJannet,
Principal Communications Officer
Tel: 01727 819533,