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Chichester’s Successes in the South and South East in Bloom Awards

December 13, 2011 2011 Winter No Comments
James Alison and Justin Jones of CDC on behalf of the Management Board receiving the Brandy Hole Copse award from Blue Peter Gardener Chris Collins

James Alison and Justin Jones of CDC on behalf of the Management Board receiving the Brandy Hole Copse award from Blue Peter Gardener Chris Collins

More than four hundred people attended the South and South East in Bloom Awards at Fontwell Park Racecourse, where both Chichester and Brandy Hole Copse won major awards. Chichester took the Trophy for the Best Large Town in the Region, while Brandy Hole Copse won its fourth Silver Gilt Award in succession in the Country Park Category.

The awards, which are sponsored by Southern Water, attracted a near-record 253 entries. This was the sixth year in succession that Chichester has won a major award, and it was the fifth year for Brandy Hole Copse. Chichester, which won a gold award this year, had regularly won a silver gilt award since 2006, and it won a silver award in the Champion of Champions category in 2009. Brandy Hole Copse won a Silver Award in 2007, followed by Silver Gilt Awards annually between 2008 and 2010.

Brandy Hole Copse, which helped Chichester to win the Best Large Town Award, scored an impressive 81 points out of 100, including a maximum 10 out of 10 for environmental sustainability. Other categories in which the Copse did well included the provision of facilities, countryside maintenance, conservation, and Agenda 21 community involvement. Areas, where the Management Board intends to improve facilities next year, include signage, and the quality of features such as benches and waste bins.

Awards for the Copse

December 4, 2007 2007 Autumn No Comments

South East in Bloom Award 2007

Jo Brooks and Nigel Brown receiving award from Duncan Goodhew

From the Chairman, Graham Ault

We were delighted to hear this Summer that the Copse has been recognised and commended again in the South East in Bloom Competition this year. We were visited by two sets of judges back in July, one as part of the Chichester entry for towns and cities in the South East and one as part of a special ‘Country Parks’ category.

South East in Bloom Award

The Award

Chichester won a silver award based on a number of parks and open spaces around the City, and Brandy Hole Copse was a significant part of that award. In the Country Parks category we fought off a strong challenge from a nature reserve in the Ouse Valley, Newhaven, to win the silver award.

I can confirm that there is a plaque for each of these awards although the District Council will not trust us to keep the Country Parks plaque (probably very wise!). However we can borrow it for special occasions.

There are times when we wonder if it can be worth all the effort that goes into preparing for this competition, but we have had great support from the District Council, who put together an excellent briefing document for the judges and supervised the whole process. My thanks in particular to Jo Brooks, our Environmental Officer at the Council.

This is all good news as it has been such a disappointing year in the Copse with the poor summer weather, the invasion of the travellers and the ever present threat of housing development.

Although I sometimes get depressed about the activities of some youngsters who vandalise the Copse and show it no respect, I must mention one young lady, Rosie Collins, who has, for the second year running, chosen to do her Duke of Edinburgh Award project in the Reserve.

Having done a wonderful job last year in recording our mature trees, she has this year carried out an excellent survey of butterflies and their nectaring plants (with some excellent guidance from Mike Perry). Thanks Rosie. It makes it all worthwhile!

A personal thank you

December 4, 2007 2007 Autumn No Comments

Friends committee celebrating Jim's contribution to the copse over the years

In October, the current Committee members raided their own piggy banks and took Jim Ayling and his wife Irene for a meal at a local Chichester pub. It was our way of personally thanking Jim, and Irene, for all the hard work Jim has put into the Copse over many years.

Jim has been a leading light in our Brandy Hole Copse Group since 1989 when, as Secretary of the Summersdale Residents’ Association, he was invited to a meeting to discuss how things could best be managed following the Great Storm. The Brandy Hole Copse Conservation Group was eventually formed, with Jim as a key member, and over the years Jim has been Chairman, Secretary and latterly Committee member.

Throughout much of this time Jim has organised the weekly work parties and has put countless hours of his own time into both conservation and administration, tirelessly campaigning on behalf of the Copse on many issues. He was also instrumental in our involvement in the South East in Bloom competition and hence the awards reported elsewhere in the Newsletter. Jim decided to step down from the Committee earlier this year but we do hope he will continue to be involved in the Copse as and when he can. It is no exaggeration to say that without Jim’s dedication the Copse would not be the enjoyable oasis it is today.

Thanks Jim!

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