RHS BRITAIN IN BLOOM 5 YEARS OF “OUTSTANDING” CERTIFICATE, 2019
AWARD OF NATIONAL CERTIFICATE OF DISTINCTION 2016 and 2019
AWARDED GOLD MEDAL IN RHS PARKS CATEGORY FOR 2018 and 2019
IN 2019 AWARDED THE R.H.S. NORTH WEST SILVER TROPHY FOR BEST IN CATEGORY AND THE TOP AWARD OF BEST OVERALL ENTRY.
SILVER GILT SOUTHPORT FLOWER SHOW 2019
Some Tasks Undertaken and Achievements from 2012 – 2020
- We relieved and cured severe flooding of the lake by contacting the landowners outside the gardens who allowed us to clear culvert blockages at both ends we continue to keep them clear. Also we clear litter and lake debris.
- Renovated, painted and repaired where necessary over 70 badly weathered park benches and we continue to keep them clean and maintained.
- We carry out minor repairs and painting jobs around the park.
- We decorated the Toilets in 2015, and now maintain the facility on licence, we supply toilet consumables and fitted new multi-roll dispensers and hand soap dispensers. With receipts from the 20p entry fee in 2017, we had a re-paint and new plumbing, work surfaces, and sinks & hand dryers fitted, We endeavour to keep this facility clean and tidy and improve this vital facility
- We have a team of litter collectors and have a zero-tolerance litter policy on the whole of the park and Aviary area, keeping it all clean and litter-free.
- We spent all winter 2014 and since clearing 400 yards of lake paths at the natural end of the park of decades of solid mud and foliage to develop an educational nature trail with many bird and bat boxes fitted.
- We hold 4-5 free events per year for all classes of visitor and to raise funds.
- To halt the filling in of the flower beds and containers we started a sponsorship scheme six years ago to pay for flowers from the Nursery, following the closure of the Nursery we now outsource plants and save and grow some in the greenhouse for Summer and Spring flower bed displays. 5 large beds and 40 containers and baskets are now planted up twice a year by our volunteers and maintained throughout the year. An old overgrown Heather Bed and Lavender borders are being restored and rockery gardens introduced and several perennial beds are enhanced and maintained.
- A Victorian-style Stumpery is to be constructed in 2020.
- We have a partnership with the café to help and improve an in house garden centre; profits go to us to help with the purchase of plants for the gardens displays. Over £9000 per year is being generated through our regular sponsors and donations.
- We work well with Council Officers and a few gardens staff as a team.
We have an aspiration list of work and projects some that need major funding, we wish the rowing boats to be back and the old empty Museum building to be put to good public benefit. The Lake needs attention and its bridges and infrastructure restored.
The nationally acclaimed Fernery has been saved and is being restored by the B.G.C.A. with the help of our partner the British Pteridological Society.
We aim to continue to gain top awards which are good for our supporters, the Council, the public and us! Over 35,000 and rising volunteer hours have been recorded over the last seven years; all funds raised are for the Botanic Gardens, however major outside grant funding is required on old infrastructure to complement our free work and funding initiatives.
The Botanic Gardens was formally opened as a privately run Pleasure Gardens in 1875 and visitors had to pay for admission.
It fell on bad times in the early 1930s and the Landowners put the park up for sale for housing.
Southport Borough Council following an uproar from local residents stepped in and bought the Park in 1936 to stop this unfortunate eventuality, they had previously bought the Lake and walks in 1936.
Certain parts of the Gardens became a King Georges Field for the recreation of young people, it is now termed a Field in Trust forever and is a Grade 2 listed park. The original Museum is now closed but many artefacts have been relocated to the Atkinson Centre in Southport.
A copy of the programme to commemorate the reopening of the Botanic Gardens and King Georges Field in 1937 is included in this presentation.
Our volunteering work was filmed throughout 2018 and was shown and repeated twice on BBC 2 and 1 “Britain in Bloom” Show in 2019 providing great publicity for the Botanic Gardens and Southport.
At the 2019 R.H.S., North West in Bloom presentations the Botanic Gardens Community Association and Botanic Gardens received a total of seven top awards including Silver Trophies for the best in category and the best overall entry as listed above at the heading.
Much has been achieved and many top awards won but the biggest victory has been the saving and retention of the free horticultural, floral and natural elements of the park and the preservation of the legacy our Victorian forefathers had created for our current and future generation’s education and enjoyment.
We are proud and grateful to be allowed to save and help to maintain high standards in our popular Park. We have an active volunteer force of over 20 and a wider subscription membership in support. We were formed to beat the cuts.
The Botanic Gardens has two magnificent Flag Poles and we have been delighted and proud to have the emblems of the Green Flag Awards and the R.H.S. flying all year round at the main entrance.
David Cobham (Chairman of Trustees)
Botanic Gardens Community Association.
c/o The Botanic Gardens