The chairman of the Newark In Bloom committee, Mr George Wilkinson (left) and the Mayor of Newark, Mrs Rita Crowe, meet East Midlands In Bloom judges Helen Mitchem and Mr Richard Stephen
The chairman of the Newark In Bloom committee, Mr George Wilkinson (left) and the Mayor of Newark, Mrs Rita Crowe, meet East Midlands In Bloom judges Helen Mitchem and Mr Richard Stephen

Judges from East Midlands In Bloom visited Newark this week as the town aims to win a gold award.

They visited sites including Newark Cemetery; allotments run by Eton Avenue Growers’ Association; the willow holt in Sconce and Devon Park; and the herb garden at the National Civil War Centre.

The chairman of the Newark In Bloom committee, Mr George Wilkinson, gave a speech to judges Mr Richard Stephen and Helen Mitchem, with the Mayor of Newark, Mrs Rita Crowe, and her consort, Mr Rob Crowe, in attendance.

There have been 66 entries overall in the competition.

Newark is competing in the large town category against contenders including Long Eaton, Spalding, North Hykeham and Gainsborough.

Ahead of the judging, Mr Stephen, who last judged Newark four years ago, said he was looking for a commitment across the town to raising standards.

“We are judging across the areas: horticulture, the environment and the community,” he said.

“I am sure that Newark is making a big push to do better.

“Just coming into the town I could see that many businesses were involved.

“What we want to see is everyone embracing this competition, and that everyone is engaged.”

In his opening comments, Mr Wilkinson mentioned efforts led by the previous mayor, Mr Dean Hyde, to clean up the town; a huge improvement in the Lockside Sensory Garden; and more tower baskets in the Market Place and Millgate, provided by Newark Town Council.

Last year, Newark received a silver gilt. It missed out on gold by just two points.

The award results will be announced in September.