Support for junior Oxford in Bloom competition withers

Oxford Mail: Support for junior Oxford in Bloom competition withers Support for junior Oxford in Bloom competition withers

Young gardeners have failed to dig into the junior heat of this year’s Oxford in Bloom competition.

Only two schools from across the city submitted entries to the junior branch of the contest before applications closed on Sunday.

Pupils from East Oxford Primary School, in Union Street, and Wood Farm Primary School, in Titup Hall Drive, are the only two to sign up.

Last year, four schools entered the junior section.

Wood Farm Primary pupils have been growing flowers and vegetables as part of their entry.

Year Three teacher Hannah Barton, 29, said: “I think it’s a very positive experience for children to grow things.

“Some of our children won’t have gardens living in flats and I think it’s good for them to plant things and see them grow.

“I have really enjoyed it and it’s nice to work with them in a different way than in the classroom.”

The school’s two floral displays were created by pupils from all year groups, as part of the school’s Wood Farm Commitment.

The school drew up the pledge to involve pupils in a variety of activities including learning to grow and cook healthier food.

Miss Barton said: “A huge part of what we are doing here is learning and making sure they can perform in their key skills.

“It’s about giving them opportunities so that we can build them up as individuals.”

Judging for the junior heat will begin on Monday, July 14, before entrants are invited to a presentation evening during September.

Although so few entries may have been received for the junior competition, general applications for the main contest are still open.

Oxford in Bloom committee chairwoman Karen Roberts said: “It is disappointing, but hopefully we will have a lot more for the competition itself.

“I think that what we need to do is get schools on board, maybe going round and talking to them.

“We enter the Britain in Bloom competition as well and it helps if everybody looks after their garden. It’s nice to think that we are helping make the city look beautiful.”

The competition offers the community the opportunity to enhance their neighbourhood’s environment.

A team of judges will visit each entry and award marks across various categories, including colour, impact, tidiness, arrangement and design.

Residents and business across the city are encouraged to submit their entries before the competition comes to a close on Monday, July 21. So far, 38 gardeners have entered.

Alongside Junior Oxford in Bloom, prizes between £25 and £100 will be awarded for categories including the Most Beautiful Container and the Best Large or Small Garden. Each entry into the Oxford in Bloom competition support’s the city during the Britain in Bloom contest.

Competition entries can be submitted online at oxford.gov.uk/ oxfordinbloom

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