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Silver for Hethersett

Hethersett has been awarded silver in this year’s Anglia in Bloom competition.  

The independent panel of judges praised Hethersett for its imaginative approach to the environment and the strong community spirit which included local Brownies combining with volunteers to plant bulbs.  

“The standard of annual displays in front gardens was good and the floral art work at the Church, both inside and out, was excellent. The standard of floral displays at commercial premises was a credit to all concerned, as were the hanging basket displays,” the judges stated.  

Hethersett’s award came in the small town section for places with a population between 2501 and 6000. The section was won by Frinton-On-Sea, Essex.  

The judges also praised the well maintained shrubs and play areas. “The creation of a wildlife area on parish land at the Village Hall is an imaginative ongoing project involving schools, scouts and others and will be of a benefit to the community. The discovery and protection of bee orchids is something to be proud of. The erection of bird and bat boxes within Hethersett also marks another move forward for local conservation. The re-cycling station at the Village Hall with its clipped surround hedge is also to be commended,” the judges reported.  

The report also stated that the village was nearly litter free, benefiting from the regular litter picks organised by the Hethersett Environmental Action Team (HEAT), throughout the year.  

“Those who carry on the great work should be proud of Hethersett and all they achieve in the local community,” the report concludes.  

The silver award was received on behalf of the village at a special ceremony in the Ocean Rooms, Gorleston, by chair of Hethersett Parish Council Fred Watkins and leading member of HEAT Heather Williamson.

Below is the judges' full report.

It was pleasing to see that the Brownies along with adults have been engaged in bulb planting around the town. The standard of annual displays in front gardens was good and the floral art work at the Church, both inside and out, was excellent. Throughout the town the standard of floral displays at commercial premises was a credit to all concerned, as were the hanging basket displays. The town sign would benefit from brighter and bolder display, for which perhaps a sponsor could be found.

The shrub areas around the town were good and almost all well maintained but the grass verges could be improved by more frequent cuts and it is suggested that the Local Authority be approached in this respect. The Village Hall car park was clean and tidy and the surrounding shrubs also well maintained. Play areas were in good condition, but the fencing surrounding the play areas and pond were in need of some repair. The large open playing field by the pond would benefit from a set of goal posts to encourage youth to use the area. The Open Gardens was a good way for residents to meet and discuss ideas, along with gaining finance for the Youth Club. Elsewhere the Country Hotel shrub planting was to a very high standard.

The creation of a wildlife area on Parish land at the Village Hall is an imaginative ongoing project involving schools, scouts and others and will be of benefit to the community. The discovery and protection of bee orchids is something to be proud of for which support from a naturalist group and from the Local Authority could help with conservation and management.

The pond and surrounding area has potential as a diverse wildlife habitat which the In Bloom team have already given time to improving. At present the pond's appearance suggests rather stagnant anaerobic water containing rotting leaves and not much in the way of wildlife. In the circumstances it would be advisable to have a bioassay of the pond water and perhaps the Local Authority/Wildlife Trust might be invited to help in this respect. A Deep Water sign would warn of a hazard and perhaps advice should be sought regarding a suitable safety sign. The erection of bird and bat boxes within Hethersett also marks another move forward for local conservation. The recycling station at the Village Hall with its clipped surround hedge is also to be commended.

Street furniture could be improved by more frequent maintenance. Hethersett was nearly litter free, no doubt benefiting from a number of litter picks throughout the year. More attention to weed control in the brick weave entrances would further smarten up Hethersett, along with increased street sweeping.

Press and media coverage was good. However, it is felt that the Hethersett In Bloom could gain from advertising its campaign more on sign boards and in local business premises. This way more support and sponsorship may be obtained. Seek sponsorship for your projects, either in cash or in kind.

It was sad to hear that a key member of Hethersett in Bloom had died recently, but he has left his mark by all the good work he did. Those who carry on the great work should be proud of Hethersett and all they achieve in the local community.

Well done!