Wigginton Park is competing in the parks & open spaces category of the Heart of England in Bloom campaign, a new category that is being judged for the first time this year.
The award is open to parks and open spaces of all kinds, from pockets parks and gardens to country parks, taking in churchyards and cemeteries. It is judged on three aspects; community & engagement, maintenance & development and environment.
Wigginton Park entered the awards as a large park of more than 20 hectares. Its entry has been led by the Friends of Wigginton Park, with the support of Tamworth Borough Council.
On Thursday, judges Lyn Hammant and Kevin Yates from Heart of England in Bloom toured Wigginton Park with the Friends and council staff.
Chair of the Friends of Wigginton Park, Cllr Richard Kingstone, said, “It’s a great honour to be able to enter the Heart of England in Bloom parks category. Anyone who has visited Wigginton Park will know just how amazing it is. The park is unique not just in Tamworth but in the country.
“Where else can you walk though well-maintained, outstanding Georgian parkland surrounded by Giant Redwoods, Holme Oaks and other well-established specimen trees, enjoy a healthy game of rugby, have a pint or two in a listed manor house and then visit a spectacular wildlife meadow rich in natural English plant species? We really do have a special place right here in the heart of Tamworth.”
He added, “The Friends of Wigginton Park was formed by students from The Rawlett School along with local residents and members of Tamworth Rugby Club coming together to attempt to make our park even better.
“Over the years we have developed a management plan with the support of Staffordshire Wildlife Trust and Tamworth Borough Council. We meet on the second Sunday of every month and carry out a variety of activities. Since the start of the year we have planted a further 200 saplings, planted more than 500 bluebell bulbs, carried out maintenance in the wetlands area and started to plant out our community orchard as well as building two rustic benches in our meadow!”
The assessment of Wigginton Park comes just a week after Heart of England in Bloom judges Nicola Clarke and Roger Tait visited Tamworth to cast their eyes over the borough’s entry for this year’s Small City category in the regional campaign.
Tamworth in Bloom Champion, Cllr Joy Goodall, said, “Once again, Tamworth has impressed with its commitment to high standards of environmental works and community involvement.
“The huge amount of hard work and dedication from the volunteers who make up the Friends of Wigginton Park was very much emphasised and we are all now keeping our fingers crossed this will be acknowledged when the results are announced in September.”