City lands gold in European environmental competition
BRISTOL has become the envy of Europe after it was the only UK city to pick up gold at the prestigious 2012 Entente Florale competition.
The competition judges cities, towns and villages on their environmental and horticultural credentials.
The aim is to improve the quality of life for local urban and village communities by fostering green spaces in towns and villages.
Bristol's entry was described as "excellent" by judges who visited the city in July.
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At an award ceremony in Venlo, Holland, on Friday September 14, it was given gold in the city category.
Mike Crook, chairman of the Bristol in Bloom Community Association, said: "I'm absolutely thrilled with Bristol's success. 2012 saw Bristol put on another stunning display of colour and creative floral arrangements, which wowed the jury members. I'm sure everyone involved in Bristol's bid will want to celebrate."
He added: "Bristol is a great example for the UK and the rest of Europe after such a fantastic achievement."
Councillor Gary Hopkins, Bristol's executive member for environment and community safety, travelled to Holland last week to receive the award.
He told the Post: "It is a truly brilliant achievement for everyone involved. All the staff and the many volunteers have helped this happen."
Mr Hopkins added that the hard work and the award had enormous environmental, social and economic benefits for the city.
He said: "The award has the potential to boost tourism and it will certainly change the way we can market the city.
"It makes Bristol a great place to live and visit and this is reflected in the pride of place shown by our diverse communities."
The presentation ceremony in Holland was attended by representatives from the 11 European countries that took part in the 2012 Entente Florale. Bristol was the UK's city entry alongside Rustington Village in West Sussex, the UK's village entry, which also won gold.
Judges concluded that Bristol's "presentation was excellent across the board".
They added: "Very many congratulations to all concerned and it is really appreciated that so many people worked so hard to finish with this result. A wonderful result for a very special city."
The European Entente Florale competition is now in its 27th year of rewarding towns and villages across Europe that successfully embrace horticulture and care for the natural environment.