Chipping goes for more gold in 2012

So many people joined in the 'big dig'
So many people joined in the 'big dig'

CHIPPING is going all out to retain its North West in Bloom title – and is making a strong bid for a second gold medal in the national Royal Horticultural Society (RHS) Britain in Bloom competition.

Chipping in Bloom Action Group have been working hard on their most ambitious scheme yet, which they hope will wow judges when they visit in July and August next year.

The Wildflower and Wildlife Meadow project has captured the imagination of the whole village, and this was epitomised by the fantastic turnout of volunteers for the second Big Dig Day, on Saturday.

“It was great to see so many people come and support us,” said new action group chairman Barry Durham. “They dug and raked, and hoed and built, and in four very busy hours completed a tremendous amount of work.

“Even Chipping Early Learners came along and planted a hedge from trees they had been given by The Woodlands Trust.”

Work included the building of a bug hotel, a hedgehog home, and a winter residence for frogs, toads and newts.

“The flowers may not be in place until next spring,” said Barry, “but we hope the local wildlife will soon be moving into the new habitats.”

The project is being built on land loaned to Chipping in Bloom by St Mary’s Church, and has attracted sponsorship from the local housing association, Ribble Valley Homes, which has donated £500 towards the project; John Weld-Blundell of Leagram Hall, which supplied a stand of trees which several Action Group members cleared and cut up into logs, and G Plants, of Hoghton, Preston, which has given 10 large boxes of wildflower seeds, with the promise of more next spring.

Seeds are being grown by pupils from Brabins Endowed and St Mary’s Primary Schools, as well as the Rainbows and Brownies.

Cubs and Scouts helped clear trees at the beginning of the project, in June, and people from Chipping Steam Fair brought in a digger and tractor to shape the contours of the site, just before the first Big Dig Day early in October.

“We can’t thank everyone enough,” said Barry.

“The support has been fantastic.

“It seems the whole village is behind us in our gold bid.”

Over winter, the action group will have a stand at Chipping Christmas Fair on Sunday, December 4, where they will be selling Chipping in Bloom 2012 calendars, Christmas cards and notelets, and members are planning a cheese and wine evening in January, to thank all their supporters and officially launch the 2012 campaign.

They are also appealing to local businesses and individuals support in any way they can.

“We have already created a record by winning four consecutive North West in Bloom titles,” said Barry. “A fifth, and a gold medal would be a fillip for the village and bring tourists to boost the economy of what we believe is the best blooming village in the North West.”

n More pictures of the development of the Wildflower and Wildlife Meadow Project can be seen on the website at www.chippinginbloom.org.uk.