Cities, towns and villages across NI have been sowing, planting and pruning ahead of the 2021 Translink Ulster in Bloom Competition which has been officially launched following last year’s virtual ‘Homegrown’ initiative.
Launching at Translink’s North West Multi-Modal Transport Hub, the popular competition has attracted 125 entries representing all local council areas as well as 24 bus and train stations.
The annual green-fingered awards boost civic pride across NI, encouraging cities, towns and villages to look their best with striking floral displays and seasonal plants which often represent the history, culture and unique features of each area.
Competition categories include: Small Village, Large Village, Small Town, Town, Large Town, City, Roses in Towns, Judge’s Special Awards, Translink Community Champion, Floral Station and Most Improved.
Launching the 2021 competition, Translink Chairman Dr Michael Wardlow said:
“2021 marks a very welcome return for the annual Translink Ulster In Bloom competition. Last year, due to Covid-19, the usual competition could not happen and we ran a virtual 'Homegrown' campaign celebrating the horticultural efforts of people at home, so this year is particularly special as we recognise the challenges our participants have endured over past year and a half. It’s wonderful to see all local councils participating and I would also like to thank NILGA for their support in co-ordinating and developing the competition which continues to evolve each year.
“Ulster in Bloom is an important event to encourage and promote sustainability. As part of our efforts to create a greener world, Translink has launched a Climate Positive Strategy including ambitious targets to achieve Net Zero Emissions across the business by 2040, reducing our Green House Gas emissions by 50% by 2030 along the way. Ulster In Bloom supports this climate action commitment and is a great way to encourage more people to protect our planet.”
The Translink Ulster in Bloom Competition is co-ordinated by the Northern Ireland local Government Association (NILGA). Councillor Frances Burton, Vice – President, NILGA, said:
“After such a challenging period, it is my pleasure to convey the Association’s support, admiration and encouragement to all our Councils and ‘In Bloom’ Groups for their work and the dedicated community support shown over the last 15 months.
“I would like to thank everyone who supports Translink Ulster in Bloom for championing the “In Bloom” message of councils, local committees, residents and businesses, coming together to take pride in the places where you live and work, creating a better environment for everyone to share. As we continue to rebuild following the pandemic, these things are now more important than ever.
“NILGA represents, promotes, sustains and improves local government on behalf of all our member councils. The Association therefore fully supports Translink Ulster in Bloom across each individual council area and we are delighted to have 101 entries covering all 11 council areas this year.
“As NILGA, councils and councillors, the competition helps us to focus on improving the quality of life for citizen’s right across the region, while also enhancing our cities, towns and villages. With the ongoing partnership support of our member councils, our volunteer judges and our sponsors Translink, the Association hopes to build on the culture and future of the competition. Thank you to everyone for your ongoing support and enthusiasm.” said Councillor Burton.
This year the 2021 Translink Ulster in Bloom competition has teamed up with The Conservation Volunteers NI (TCVNI) to support people in starting their own vegetable patch. TCVNI support communities across NI with grow-your-own food projects and they have a limited number of start-up packs of mixed seed varieties to giveaway. For more information and to register your interest visit the TCVNI Facebook page - https://en-gb.facebook.com/tcvni.