This in from the council, Ed
Historic Ventnor Park on the Isle of Wight has once again won a gold medal at the South and South East England in Bloom Awards.
The park was awarded one of only three gold medals given out in the ‘Park of the Year’ category, beating stiff competition from 100’s of entries including local authorities, communities, cities, towns and villages from across Kent, East & West Sussex, Surrey, Hampshire, Isle of Wight, East & North Dorset and East Wiltshire.
The awards were presented by South and South East England in Bloom chairman Peter Holman, and Jim Buttress, (Royal Horticultural Society judge, television personality and former Royal Parks gardener), at the recent awards ceremony which was held at the Effingham Gatwick Hotel, Effingham Park, Surrey.
Fifth successive gold medal
The council’s countryside, parks and open spaces manager, Nigel Leppard, together with the Island manager for the council’s grounds maintenance contractor John O’Conner Ltd, Stan Hayden, received the awards on behalf of the council.
The park is maintained by John O’Conner Ltd via its partnership contract with the council. This year’s award makes it the fifth successive gold medal received for Ventnor Park since 2013.
Award for Rylstone Gardens
In addition, Rylstone Gardens, Shanklin also received a silver medal and is also maintained by the council under the same arrangement with John O’Conner.
The judge’s summing up comments from his visit this year to Ventnor Park included:
“It is good to see that Ventnor Park continues to be maintained to a high standard and receives the attention it deserves, being a credit to the IWC officer in charge of its oversight and the contractors who maintain the site. A beautiful park, redolent of public parks in their heyday which continues to deserve the Gold award given, yet once again. Well done to all concerned.”
Award recognises dedication and hard work
Cabinet member for environment and heritage, Councillor John Hobart, said:
“The council is delighted that, once again, Ventnor Park has scooped this fantastic award and is a testament to our small parks and open spaces team and the grounds maintenance contractor John O’Connor, who are out in all weathers, making sure our open spaces are maintained to such high standards.
“The fact that it is the fifth year running the park has won this award shows the level of dedication and hard work that goes into making an award winning open space.”
John O’Conner Ltd “go that extra mile”
The council’s countryside, parks and open spaces manager, Nigel Leppard, said:
“I would like to say thank you to John O’Conner Ltd, who go that extra mile to keep the park looking good, also to Jackie Tiller at Ventnor Putting Green for the continued support and to Ventnor Town Council and Ventnor Enhancement Fund (community group) who help with various elements of the park such as lighting and looking after the aviary, to give it an extra lift.
“A big thanks to all the people whose hard work and support make the park what it is.”
History of Ventnor Park
Ventnor Park dates from the 19th century and covers an area of about seven acres. It features landscaped grounds over a range of different levels, with mature trees, shrubs, herbaceous and bedding borders, a bandstand, a stream with gentle falls and water fowl, a putting green (under concession), and an adult outdoor exercise equipment area. The gardens possess mature trees, have views into Shanklin Chine and out to the English Channel.
Beautiful Rylstone Gardens is located on the south side of Shanklin Chine and occupies the former pleasure grounds of Rylstone House, a villa dating from the 1860s and contains a Swiss chalet that was built circa 1880.
The South and South East in Bloom campaign is the largest horticultural campaign in the region and is part of the Britain in Bloom campaign, where boroughs, communities, residents, businesses can work together to improve their environment.