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Chairman's Message - May 2017

Marlborough in Bloom is off to a flying start in 2017 with a number of local events scheduled to support the community effort in the town ahead of judging Day on July 13th .

This year we have the honour of entering in the Champion of Champions class, awarded only to winners in the previous year's competition. Our judge will be Jon Wheatley, Chair of South West in Bloom.

OUR THEME THIS YEAR IS BUTTERFLIES. To reflect this theme in this year's campaign we are working with Butterfly Conservation and local schools to help preserve these lovely creatures. Sadly, butterflies are far less common than they were 50 years ago. Since the 1940's, 97% of wildflower meadows have been lost. Seventy per cent of UK species have declined in occurrence since the 1970's.

Thanks to the generous sponsorship of local estate agent Henry George we are kicking off with the Marlborough in Bloom Gardening Competition. Open to gardens in Marlborough created and maintained by the owners (tho' some part time help is acceptable) , there are 5 categories: Best Garden, Best Courtyard Garden, Best Commercial Display, Best Containers/Hanging Baskets and Best Newcomer. Cups will be awarded to the Overall Winner, Best Garden & Best Courtyard Garden with prizes and certificates for other entries.

To enter, complete the form online at http://marlboroughinbloom.org.uk or pick up an entry form at Henry George Estate Agents, 46 Kingsbury Street, Marlborough SN8 1JE. Deadline for entries is Friday 12 May, judging on 21 June and some of the winners will be incorporated in the Judging Route in July.

Following their huge success with last year's bees, the pupils of Marlborough St Mary's CE VC Primary School are invited to to take part in a Family Art Competition to create a butterfly out of any medium – painting, sculpture, collage or crochet (wool and patterns available from Fair Isle). The winners will have their work displayed around the town to delight and amuse us all.

Our portfolio which gives the judges an overview of our work throughout the year is crucial to our success. I am therefore very happy to report that Libanus Press, Marlborough's stunning fine art publisher, has agreed to produce our 2017 edition.

Finally we were thrilled to learn that our application to the Tesco Bags of Help Grant Scheme has been successful. Customers can vote in the Tesco store on the Salisbury Road Business Park during May and June (we will be one of three projects); the project with the highest number of votes across the region will receive up to £5,000, the second placed project up to £2,000 and the third placed project £1,000 so please support us when you shop.

Waitrose has once again continued their support and customers can support us by posting their green token each time they shop. Last year this raised over £300 and we are very grateful for their

involvement.

Community Action Days start in May. Please join us every Wednesday morning to tidy up the streets and garden the In Bloom tubs and boxes around the town. Meet at 10 am by the back entrance to Waitrose, armed with secateurs and gloves and help us to gain valuable points for community involvement.

This will be a challenging year for Marlborough in Bloom but I feel sure the townsfolk and businesses will rise to the occasion on Judging Day. We are going for gold in 2017, so let's make Marlborough blooming marvellous!"

Anne Crawley

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