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The Royal Horticultural Society has awarded Newbury a ‘Pride of Place’ award for Old Hospital Green’s NHS Commemorative Garden and a Conservation and Wildlife Award for City Recreation Ground’s orchard and wildflower meadow.

Both projects were part of the Town Council’s ‘In Bloom’ campaigns this year. The awards recognise the great efforts that community groups, the Town Council and Newbury residents have made.

The NHS Commemorative Garden at Old Hospital Green, Andover Road, is home to the ‘Binary Conversation’ sculpture, and was chosen by the Council’s Green Spaces Working Group for a new planting scheme earlier in the year which has been dedicated to the NHS.  Herbs, shrubs and plants, widely known for their medicinal qualities, were planted at the garden.

The scheme was designed by local resident, volunteer and garden designer, Fran Lawton. It is based on the idea of a medicinal garden and an interpretation board has been erected highlighting the plants & their medicinal uses.

The Thames & Chiltern in Bloom 2021 judges rated the project as Excellent.  The judges   said that the new garden provides a focal point and reminder of the pandemic and is a place for local people to enjoy.. They were impressed by the level of support from the local community and residents and pleased to see local ownership progressing.

They were particularly taken by the interpretation panel which explains the background and the planting.                                                           

Their judging panel commented, saying, “It is a wonderful idea to develop a new NHS Commemorative Garden on the site of the former Community Hospital. The design of the garden in the shape of an antibody, using the existing artwork as the nucleus and with planting of a medicinal theme is both fitting and appropriate. We look forward to seeing this Garden as part of a Bloom entry in the future!”

At City Recreation Ground, Growing Newbury Green, in partnership with Newbury Town Council, have been championing edible crops in Newbury for over a decade to care for the area and engage the local community with caring for the orchards.

The Wildflower meadow is now in its second year. In the first year over 15 species were found including Corn Marigold, Common Poppy, Cornflower, Yarrow, Wild Carrot and Borage. We will be assessing the meadow for further species this year to monitor how the meadow continues to develop.

The judging panel from Thames & Chiltern in Bloom commented, saying, “This is a well-established project which successfully enhances wildlife and provides a sustainable source of fruit for the local community. It’s a good example of how a range of organisations can work together and also draw in support from the local community at the same time as providing opportunities to develop education and skills.      

Cllr Martin Colston, Leader of the Council said, “We are so proud and pleased to have received these awards. We would like to thank all of our volunteers who have spent their own time helping with the projects. Newbury’s ‘Green Gym ‘are now taking on the maintenance of the garden at Old Hospital Green and I am looking forward to seeing it flourish in years to come.

Growing Newbury Green do a fabulous job looking after a number of Community Orchards in the town and together with our Wildflower Meadows at both City Rec and Victoria Park we are pleased that we are helping to make Newbury a town we can all be proud of”.


Cllr Martin Colston, Leader of the Council Martin.colston@newbury.gov.uk

Hugh Peacocke, CEO

Hugh.Peacocke@newbury.gov.uk 01635 35486

James Heasman, Cllr Martin Colston, Cllr Jon Gate At Old Hospital Green With Awards