19 April 2024

Bloom award ‘is testament to our wonderful community’

By Rebecca Hannant

Winestead has received a silver award in this year’s Yorkshire in Bloom competition.

In a bid to “preserve and enhance” spaces in the village for future generations, resident Rebecca Pilkington-Vincent set up the Winestead in Bloom group early this year.

The group soon took off with volunteers of all ages lining up to improve the green spaces in the area and coming up with new ideas to help the community including flower planting, revamping signs and spaces, and building homes for nature.

Once established, the group turned their attention to submitting the village into the annual Yorkshire in Bloom competition.

As part of its submission, the group showcased the spaces the village has to offer including the Winestead Green Canopy campaign which saw 1,100 trees and shrubs planted by volunteers in Sam’s Field and around the village.

The group also highlighted villagers’ take on the No Mow May challenge where landowners are encouraged to leave their lawnmowers in the shed, which helps wildflowers thrive on grass verges and roadsides.

The judges were taken around some local landmarks including the private gardens that spill out on to the public areas by Bydales Lane. The judges were also shown the Old Smithy, which is home to a range of planters, and Willow Cottage, which features an old telephone box that houses a seed exchange. Finally, the judges were shown the revamped signposts and postboxes.

The judges’ comments said: “Winestead in Bloom was established less than six months ago in February 2023. In this short space of time, they have made considerable progress through a lot of hard work, particularly around the protection and conservation of local flora and fauna. The group of eight regular volunteers is led by Rebecca whose enthusiasm and passion for the natural environment shines throughout the village.

“The In-Bloom group are incredibly active and resourceful, generating community interest and fundraising with a range of activities. Their work extends beyond the array of articles in their newsletter, as volunteering is at the heart of everything the group does.

“The benevolence of local farmers helps to keep the group resilient and there is a full programme of events throughout the year which includes history days, bat walks, litter picks and pond dipping.

“Co-operation is clearly demonstrated by the group working with the council and a range of other smaller organisations. Well done to all the team for their hard work and commitment, and a big thank you from the judges to Rebecca for being our guide for the visit.”

Following the judges’ visit, Winestead was awarded Silver in the small village category. Rebecca said: “Considering at the time of judging we had only been active as a group for six months, it is a true testament to what a wonderful community we have in Winestead and the true magic of the place we get to call home. Here’s to the future efforts to enhance and enjoy wonderful Winestead.”