National Britain in Bloom nomination for Rawtenstall and Civic Pride Rossendale after 2022 success

Published February 20, 2023 at 10:11



line of civic pride volunteers with their winning trophy

AFTER scooping Gold with its first-time Britain in Bloom entry – Rawtenstall has been picked to represent the North West in the 2023 national competition.

Volunteer-led Civic Pride Rossendale coordinated last year’s entry and engaged hundreds of people from the community to back its plans – everyone from nursery age to 90.

Chair of North West in Bloom Bernard Pendleton said: “We are delighted that the Royal Horticultural Society (RHS) has accepted our region’s nomination of Rawtenstall in Bloom to represent the North West region in the ‘Large Town’ category in the RHS Britain in Bloom UK 2023 Finals.

“Their ‘In Bloom’ community spirit is truly wonderful, the work they undertake is bloomin’ excellent and the volunteers work tirelessly throughout the year to keep their local areas looking beautiful, as well as cleaner and greener.”

The team’s stunning 2022 displays started at the railway station and led around the town in a loop, taking in floral beds, shop windows, knitted displays, children’s pictures and showed a town bursting with colour and love.

three members of Rawtenstall Civic Pride


Rossendale Ukelele Band provided entertainment and there was a carnival atmosphere.

The 2023 entry will be based on Sunflowers, Slippers and Sparrows to reflect blooms, industrial history and wildlife. An awareness stall was held on Rawtenstall Market to encourage more residents to get involved.

Projects Officer and trustee Chris Blomerley said: “If people want to take ownership of one of the garden spaces we maintain, we can provide funds, equipment and the know how to help them make it bloom.”

Last year Sparrow Park, near the War Memorial, was developed and one bed was planted by charity Veterans In Communities while another Ukrainian bed was created by children from St James the Less School.

Chair of Civic Pride Rossendale Sue Shuttleworth said: “It is wonderful that all the hard work by so many volunteers around the town is being recognised, and that we will have the opportunity to showcase our many different gardens, extensive heritage, amazing community spirit and our vibrant high street to a wider audience.”

volunteers gardening in Rawtenstall

The team work 365 days a year to keep the town clean, especially the Rawtenstall-Edenfield bypass removing 20 tonnes of litter and fly tipping every year.

Rossendale Council leader Councillor Alyson Barnes said: “For me it is about the recognition and acknowledgement this brings; Britain in Bloom judges have seen and understood what a truly special place Rawtenstall is.”

The planning has already begun, seeds have been sewn, cuttings are being cultivated and Press Officer Janet Allcock made an appeal for more people to help, especially with the greenhouse team.

This year’s entry will be up against the best nine other large towns from Anglia, Cumbria, Heart of England, Midlands, South East and West, Thames and Chiltern, Ulster and Scotland.

Rawtenstall businessman Tony Winder said: “Rawtenstall is bouncing back and there is plenty of positivity in the town; this is due to the dedicated volunteers of Civic Pride, long may it last.”

Resident Paul Heaton added: “As a proud Lancastrian who has lived in the Rossendale Valley for two-thirds of my life, it would be fantastic for the rest of the country to be aware of the floral serendipity we now have on our hills and in our valleys.” Anyone who wants to help with the project can visit or email and the team can be followed on Facebook or Instagram.


The Royal Horticultural Society judge with Civic Pride Rossendale members on judgement day.

Gold award winners for 2022 Rawtenstall in bloom – Civic Pride Rossendale members Sue Shuttleworth, Chris Blomerley and Janet Allcock.

Civic Pride Rossendale preparing the beds on Bacup Road, Rawtenstall.

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