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Berwick-upon-Tweed Town Council,
Berwick WorkSpace,
Boarding School Yard,
90 Marygate,
TD15 1BN
T: 01289 302391

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Berwick in Bloom

The Town Council supports Berwick in Bloom, and the community groups which have worked to improve their local areas through new and improved floral and environment schemes.

Through a combination of small grants, for tools and materials, and working in partnership with the Berwick in Bloom committee, local County Council officers (NEAT), schools and local business, the Town Council has helped to increase the amount of floral displays in each of the three communities which make up Berwick-upon-Tweed.

Spring Bulbs
Late in 2011 the Council purchased thousands of daffodils, crocuses and tulips.  Every school was invited to take some of these to plant in their premises, somewhere where they could be seen by as many people as possible.  All took up the offer, for schemes which varied from one bulb per pupil, in a pot, where the school has no outdoor space;  to the roadside planting by Newfields children, guided and helped by NEAT officers.

The entrances to the town, north and south, were also planted up with daffodils, and crocuses on the mini-roundabouts, providing a cheerful welcome for visitors as well as residents.

Responding to the opportunities provided by the Diamond Jubilee, and the requests of the Three Fields Residents Association, the Council met the cost of six cherry trees, one for each decade of the Queen's reign, on the fringe of the village green opposite Newfields;  and planted six native broadleaf trees on the large grass area at Eastcliffe.

Wildflower gardening
As well as the initiatives of the Northumberland Wildlife Trust, which has identified a number of sites in Berwick which could accommodate swathes of wildflowers, funded by the SITA Trust, the Town Council has started discussing with English Heritage the opportunities for wildflower planting on the ramparts surrounding the town.  The challenges presented by funding cuts to English Heritage, which mean less grass cutting on the ramparts, could well lead to more wildflowers, in a joint project starting later in 2012.

Working with Business
The Town Council has been keen to build on the improvements to the town centre which started in 2011 with the introduction of hanging baskets, and a much-improved floral display.

An approach to local window and door specialist Allan Brothers brought a positive response, and one of their craftsmen has made nine hardwood planters, simple squares, which have been placed in the main street Marygate as a donation to the town. This has enabled a re-location of older planters, and with the help of suggestions from a local resident, some have been placed in the station car park, to provide a welcome to visitors.

Long-term projects
During 2011-12, the re-planting of a number of beds with sustainable and colourful planting has continued.  The beds in the North Road, opposite Aldi, which Berwick in Bloom judges had seen 'in the planning',  were fully re-planted, and are beginning to settle.

A bigger scheme is the Flagstaff Park garden, created to mark an earlier royal occasion.  Now needing an overhaul, its revitalisation has started with the planting of new roses in the formal beds, and a local craftsman has produced designs for steel arches for climbing roses to scramble over.  Underplanting with perennials, and new shrub border and edgings, will follow later in the year.

The Council remains a lead partner in the Berwick Parks Project, an ambitious and exciting project to restore the two central parks which are so much valued by local residents, and have played such a key part in local life for so long.

Welcoming Visitors
Whilst the main aim of improving our environment is to bring pleasure and enjoyment to residents, floral and planting displays also help add vibrancy and colour which can in turn enhance the experience of visitors to Berwick, who are so important to the local economy.

The Council has put four new Welcome to Berwick signs in place, with planters attached so that in both spring and summer there can be a colourful greeting to those entering the town.

2012 - A Special Year
The Diamond Jubilee and the Olympic Torch Relay have each provided an added incentive to lift the appearance of the town.

More hanging baskets have been provided than in 2011, to fill other streets, so it is hoped that together with re-painting of lamp-columns and bollards, a large step has been taken to help what the local paper has called a 'makeover' of the town centre.

New planters have been made to hang over barriers adjacent to Prince Edward Road in Tweed mouth (route for the Relay), and - new for Berwick, although well-used in other towns - some themed bedding has been planted in the same road:  a Union Jack in red and white begonias, and lobelia.  This has enthused the local gardeners who would like to make this an annual challenge.

For more pictures of 2012's special events in Berwick click here.