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St Bees Village in Bloom
St Bees is achieving continued success as a winner in the annual Cumbria in Bloom competitions. Last year, 10 years since it all began, the village competed in categories for both Cumbria and Britain in Bloom competitions.
The following year, St Bees Councillor Norman Clarkson, who formed the Heritage & Tourism Group, gleaned help and advice from County winners Keswick, which certainly paid dividends. St Bees finished a commendable fourth in the larger village section and won the Copeland Trophy.
Amongst last year's projects the committee planted up a raised bed to commemorate the Queens Golden Jubilee. The committee is keen to start more projects especially with the involvement of children and Local Agenda 21.
In the past about 4,000 plus plug plants have been grown by the committee to fill all the lamp post baskets, hayracks, troughs and tubs throughout the village. This year, the Parish Council has agreed to pay to have most of the containers filled by Copeland Borough Councils in-house nursery. There is still a need to produce sufficient plants for the wooden planters, raised beds and the super loos which are filled with Lavatera and Sweet Peas - these are placed beside the toilets at Station Garage. Photographs of the loos, taken by Coast to Coast walkers, have gone all round the world.
Fund raising events are organised twice per year and vary from bingo evenings to garden extravaganzas. St Bees Parish Council and Copeland Borough Council have been financially supportive in the past, enabling the committee to buy the thousands of plug plants, compost and all other necessities required to make the village attractive. Several local businesses have also helped by sponsoring the purchase and filling of lamppost baskets, large tubs and other containers. Grants for specific items have been received from the Neighbourhood Forum Group.
For the coming competitions it is hoped that more residents will come forward to offer help and advice. Pupils from both schools and children's groups based in the village always work with the committee on a variety of projects, either on-going or on new ideas. Willing volunteers work with the committee on Wednesday evenings starting at 6pm for a couple of hours, mostly during the summer period. The work yard is based at Stonehouse Farm on the Main Street.