Cranleigh wins at South & South East in Bloom Awards 2016

Cranleigh was a big winner at the South & South East in Bloom Awards 2016 this week.

The entry from Cranleigh in Bloom received a Gold certificate and also named overall winner in its category, receiving The Town Award 2016.

Judges from South & South East in Bloom commented on tremendous community involvement, support from local businesses and a newly formed committee quickly achieving high standards.

Collecting the certificate and trophy on behalf of the village, Cranleigh in Bloom chairman Martin Bamford, managing director of Cranleigh based Informed Choice, said:

“When I took on the role as chairman of Cranleigh in Bloom at the end of last year, one of the goals I set was to submit a winning entry to South & South East in Bloom.

“Our committee, volunteers and local businesses have worked so hard this year to create a winning entry, at the same time helping to make Cranleigh look incredible throughout the summer. We set out to promote civic pride and picking up gold and The Town Award 2016 goes a long way towards that aim.

“I’m so incredibly proud of the success of Cranleigh in Bloom at these awards, and delighted that we have put Cranleigh on the map as an exceptional place to visit and indeed live and work.”

South & South East in Bloom Awards 2016

Part of the Britain in Bloom competition, South & South East in Bloom encourages communities to work together to improve their environment. The South & South East in Bloom Awards took place at Ferneham Hall in Fareham, with representatives from communities across the region in attendance.

Assessing Cranleigh in Bloom’s entry, judges from South & South East in Bloom said:

“Cranleigh is a very pleasant place to visit with tremendous involvement of the community making it a welcoming centre. The floral displays were appropriate to the environment.

“The recently formed committee for 2016 is made up of a wide range of people and is working very well and achieving high standards in what they are doing. The tour on the day of the visit was well planned and a good itinerary.

“There is good support from the business community and will continue to grow with the enthusiasm of the committee.”

Crocus planting in Cranleigh for Purple4Polio

Crocus planting in Cranleigh for Purple4PolioCranleigh in Bloom is pleased to be working with The Rotary Club of Cranleigh to support Rotary International in Great Britain and Ireland’s Purple4Polio campaign.

For over 30 years, Rotary and its members have been committed to fighting to eradicate polio across the world. The amount of polio-endemic countries has dropped from 125 to just two, with over 2.5 billion children receiving vaccinations thanks to the help of Rotary.

With eradication now closer than ever, Rotary International in Great Britain and Ireland’s latest campaign, Purple4Polio, is designed to unite communities to engage in activities as part of the final push to eradicate polio for good.

The campaign ties in with the 100 year anniversary of The Rotary Foundation, Rotary’s own and only charity, which has played a key role in making polio eradication become close to a reality, along with hundreds of other projects both in Great Britain and Ireland and overseas.

One strand of the Purple4Polio campaign is an exciting partnership between Rotary International in Great Britain and Ireland and the Royal Horticultural Society (RHS).

The purple crocus is a symbol of Rotary’s worldwide campaign to eradicate polio, with its colour representing the purple dye used to mark the finger of a child who has been immunised.

Rotary clubs are joining forces with the RHS’s community-based Bloom Groups and will work in tandem to bring people together, transform public spaces to brighten up the local area and promote health and wellbeing by planting 5 million crocus corms.

Cranleigh in Bloom and The Rotary Club of Cranleigh will be planting 5,000 crocus corms on Cranleigh Common, with the kind permission of Waverley Borough Council, on Saturday 12th November 2016.

We are looking for more volunteers who can join us for an hour or longer on the day to plant some corms and help create a fantastic bloom of colour in Cranleigh next Spring.

Do email or call Martin or Andy on 01483 274566 if you are able to help on the day.

Cranleigh in Bloom photos

Ahead of our prize giving tea party on 15th September, we have been out in the village this week, snapping some photos for a display board.

The hanging baskets and floral displays are looking absolutely stunning. Thank you to all of the volunteers and businesses for continuing to water and maintain everything so well during the summer months.

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South & South East in Bloom judging day

We were pleased to welcome to the village today judges from the regional South & South East in Bloom competition.

Here is the introductory speech delivered to the judges before we set out for a two hour walk around Cranleigh High Street, along with some photos:

Good morning and a warm welcome to Cranleigh, the largest village in England.

I’m Martin Bamford, chairman of Cranleigh in Bloom. Also joining us on the tour today are Cranleigh in Bloom committee members Gill Ford and Mark Collings. We are really looking to spending the next couple of hours with you, showing you all of the hard work and many achievements of Cranleigh in Bloom, other local organisations and volunteers, during 2016.

Before we head out for our tour of the village, I would like to spend just a few minutes telling you about the aims and objectives of Cranleigh in Bloom, highlighting some of the areas you will be seeing today, and finally looking ahead to some plans for the future.

Cranleigh in Bloom is a voluntary community organisation with the goal of promoting civic pride, encouraging people to get involved in their community and bringing together various groups of people.

The initiative started three years’ ago and each year we have built on the hard work of previous years, gaining support from additional organisations. We last entered the South & South East in Bloom competition in 2014, successfully achieving a Silver Gilt standard for our first entry, before taking a break from the competition in 2015 to establish plans for our second entry.

We currently consist of a core committee of 12 individuals, from a range of backgrounds and representing a variety of local organisations – including Cranleigh Chamber of Commerce, Waverley Borough Council, Cranleigh Parish Council, U3A Gardening Club, Rotary Club of Cranleigh and the Cranleigh & District Lions.

I was proud to become Chairman of Cranleigh in Bloom last autumn, coming from the committee of the Cranleigh Chamber of Commerce which was originally involved in establishing the Cranleigh in Bloom initiative. As you will see during the tour today, the support from our local business community this year has been incredible and makes a real difference to the vibrancy of the High Street.

When we established our goals and objectives for Cranleigh in Bloom in 2016, we agreed as a committee on five distinct items – increase levels of High Street planting, simplify maintenance and watering, encourage greater community involvement, win Silver-Gilt or above at South & South East in Bloom 2016, and create a legacy for the village. We are very pleased to have made excellent progress against all of these goals.

Along with Gill and Mark, I will be taking you for a walk along Cranleigh High Street in just a few moments time, to show you the fruits of our labour in 2016, and also share details of some of the exciting projects we have planned for the future.

In front of you on the table, you each have a folder which contains a copy of our entry portfolio, as well as other resources such as our committee agendas and minutes, and press clippings. If you would like to turn your attention quickly to the photographs section, I will give you a brief preview of the upcoming tour.

When we leave here, we will be showing you over 70 hanging baskets displayed in Cranleigh High Street, purchased and maintained by local retailers and businesses. We will be showing you the newly planted beds outside Cranleigh Library, which were transformed this year with help from local charity Surrey Choices, who helped clear an unsightly area of scrub so we could plant this stunning and sustainable bed of Sunpatients and shrubs.

We will take you to the historic Obelisk, lovingly restored this year following a campaign by local historian Michael Wild, working on behalf of Cranleigh in Bloom, and featuring a floral display sponsored by local business Roger Coupe Estate Agents.

We move onto Cranleigh Arts Centre, an important local charity where our funding has allowed their volunteers to plant new flower beds. They will also tell us about the community engagement work with local schools we have funded, and plans next year to create a ‘pocket park’.

The flower beds outside Cranleigh Post Office have been maintained and improved this year by working parties from Rotary Club of Cranleigh, who you will meet during our tour. At Fountain Square, we will show you floral displays and raised beds, originally planted by volunteers from U3A Gardening Club in years one and two of Cranleigh in Bloom.

We will visit Rowleys Day Care Centre and our Sure Start Childrens Centre; both of which have benefited from contributions from Cranleigh in Bloom this year.

The historic horse trough by Cranleigh War Memorial is a recent addition to our community floral displays, and the war memorial itself has been carefully maintained by one of our volunteers, a military veteran who is passionate about the upkeep of this area. Planting in this area also dates back to the first two years of the Cranleigh in Bloom initiative.

We then move to the top of the High Street where we will show you one of three village ponds, this one opposite the site of the former Regal Cinema and locally known as the ‘cinema pond’, where Cranleigh in Bloom volunteers worked earlier this year with Waverley Borough Council countryside rangers to remove overgrown willow.

Coppiced willow from the cinema pond was used to lay a new hedge outside Cranleigh Cricket Club, dramatically improved the aesthetics at this entrance to the village. At the Cricket Club itself, you will meet members of the Cranleigh Community Group, who are enthusiastic supporters of Cranleigh in Bloom and very excited about welcoming you today.

We then make out way back down the High Street towards Stocklund Square, where one of our volunteers has completely renovated one raised bed, and generous sponsorship from our main sponsor this year, County Councillor Alan Young, has allowed us to add a further two large floral displays in 2016.

Finally, before we return to the Parish Council Offices, we will visit the raised beds outside Cranleigh Village Hall, scene earlier this year of a large feral bee swarm; attracted no doubt by the many wild flowers at this location.

This really has been the most successful year to date for Cranleigh in Bloom, but we have no plans to rest on our laurels. Later this year, working with Rotary Club of Cranleigh and Waverley Borough Council, we will be planting 5,000 crocus bulbs on Cranleigh Common as part of the RHS and Rotary International Purple4Polio initiative.

We will be applying for Section 106 funding which will allow us to create a new flower bed outside the public conveniences in Village Way, and add new planting to the fire basket outside the Band Room.

Most importantly, we will soon start making plans to add even more hanging baskets and floral displays to the village in 2017, recruit more volunteers to help with watering and weeding, work with more local organisations and schools to foster greater community involvement, and do everything we can to promote civic pride in this beautiful village we call home.

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Hanging baskets and floral displays

It was a busy week for the Cranleigh in Bloom team last week, with the hanging baskets and floral displays delivered to the High Street.

We are pleased to report that a total of 66 hanging baskets were put in place along the length of the High Street, with overwhelming local business support for the initiative this year.


We also put in place the summer planting floral displays at the Obelisk, Millennium Sculpture and Fountain Square.

In Stocklund Square, sponsorship from County Councillor Alan Young has allowed us to add two more of the large planters, bringing the total there to six.

The stunning floral displays above One Forty, Rawlings, Manns of Cranleigh and The Richard Onslow are also now in place.

Volunteers from the Rotary Club of Cranleigh were out in force on Saturday morning, weeding and deadheading along the various planted beds on the High Street. They also replaced the stones around the tree outside of Boots.

Outstanding on our task list is the summer floral display in the Horse Trough by the War Memorial and some late hanging basket orders, which will be in place within the next fortnight.

Our volunteers will be busy watering all of the floral displays and keeping a close eye on the watering of the hanging baskets during the coming weeks and months.

We are confident that the High Street will look stunning again in 2016.

Your help in keeping an eye on the planters and baskets would be very welcome; each has been secured in place, but vigilance to prevent any thefts is important. If anything is looking a bit dry or needs deadheading, please feel welcome to add a drop of water or pick off an old flower head.

We will be back soon with more news about a couple of local gardening companies who have kindly offered to sponsor some areas of the High Street.


Official launch of Cranleigh in Bloom 2016

Official launch of Cranleigh in Bloom 2016The official launch of Cranleigh in Bloom 2016 took place last week, with a tea party for invited guests and supporters at M Café.

Cranleigh in Bloom is a voluntary community organisation with the goal of promoting civic pride, encouraging people to get involved in their community and bringing together various groups of people.

Volunteers are working on several goals for Cranleigh in Bloom in 2016; to increase levels of planning in the High Street, encourage greater community involvement in the project, submit a winning entry to the South & South East in Bloom competition, and establish a legacy project for the village.

There has been a significant increase in business support for Cranleigh in Bloom across the High Street. Retailers and other businesses have placed orders for 77 hanging baskets and 19 planted troughs.

One notable addition to the hanging basket orders this year comes from Little Manor Service Station, who ordered 11 hanging baskets for the first time.

As a result of the sponsorship raised this year, Cranleigh in Bloom have been able to once again buy hanging baskets for all of the charity shops in the High Street, and pay for planted troughs around the Obelisk, Millennium Sculpture outside the Village Hall, Fountain Square, the horse trough by the War Memorial, and in Stocklund Square.

This year, we are adding two new large planters in Stocklund Square, thanks to the generous sponsorship of our county councillor Alan Young, the main sponsor for Cranleigh in Bloom again in 2016.

Already this year the Cranleigh in Bloom team have worked closely with Waverley Borough Council to lay a new hedge outside Cranleigh Cricket Club, and start clearing overgrown willow from the three village ponds on the common. This pond clearing work is ongoing and will continue again later in the year, subject to considerations of our Great Crested Newt population.

Working with the Friends of Cranleigh Library, Cranleigh in Bloom have started to replant the bed outside the Library, which will be further supplemented with more shrubs and some annuals for colour in the next few weeks.

Cranleigh in Bloom have been able to support new planting outside Cranleigh Arts Centre, which is looking fantastic, and also sponsor a series of food engagement workshops in the local primary schools, which will culminate with a performance at the Cranleigh Food & Music Festival in September.

The biggest challenge for Cranleigh in Bloom this year is submitting a winning entry to the South & South East in Bloom competition. This is part of the national Britain in Bloom contest, where boroughs, communities, residents and businesses can work together to improve their environment.

Judges from South & South East in Bloom will be visiting Cranleigh on Thursday 14th July to check our progress and score us against their various criteria.

The village last entered this competition in 2014 and was successful in winning a Silver Gilt. The Cranleigh in Bloom team hope to equal or better this award in 2016, and will be working hard over the coming months to prepare their entry.

The other confirmed sponsors for Cranleigh in Bloom this year, in addition to Cllr Alan Young, are Cranleigh School, Cranleigh & District Lions Club, Rotary Club of Cranleigh, Atrainability, Informed Choice, Cranleigh Golf & Country Club, Notcutts Garden Centre, TWM Solicitors, and Roger Coupe Land & New Homes.

Later this month you will see Cranleigh High Street come alive with summer planting, with our colour scheme this year of pastel shades of purples, pinks, blues and whites, with some yellow. The Cranleigh in Bloom team are always looking for volunteers who are prepared to lend any time to keep everything watered, weeded and looking at its best.

With the South & South East in Bloom judges coming to visit in a little over two months’ time, Cranleigh in Bloom need all of the help they can get in keeping Cranleigh looking at its very best, not just during the summer months but all year round.

Albury Produce Association Plant Sale

Albury Produce Association are hosting a plant sale on Saturday 7th May 2016 from 10.30am to 12.30pm at Vale End.

John and Daphne Foulsham have kindly invited them back to their glorious garden again this year – so they will be holding their very popular Spring Plant Sale in beautiful surroundings once more.

As well as flowers, bulbs and fruit and veg seedlings, you can also buy yummy homemade cakes and preserves.

Albury seems to survive on homemade cake and tea, so why not come along and enjoy a catch up with friends and neighbours over a mid morning cake treat!

They will also be running their famous garden hamper raffle.

Albury Produce Association rely on good will to make an event like this work. If you can donate plants, seeds, bulbs etc or cakes/jams they would be most grateful.

These  can be delivered on the morning of the sale.  Donations make a huge difference to this event, and are very gratefully received.

Parking is in the fisheries field opposite.

Florilegium exhibition in Cranleigh

Florilegium exhibition in CranleighCranleigh Arts Centre is hosting the Florilegium exhbition of art celebrating the English garden.

This exhibition, in partnership with the RHS Wisley Herbarium, will feature artwork by award winning botanical artist Gaynor Dickeson and contemporary photographer Celia Henderson.

It offers an eclectic mix of traditional botanical painting and stunning contemporary photography shown alongside preserved plant specimens, garden ephemera, an unusual use for pressed flowers and a surprising floral display by the Arts Centre Knit and Natter group.

To accompany the exhibition there will be an opportunity to learn the art of pressing flowers taught by the Keeper of the RHS (Wisley) Herbarium.

The exhibition is open Tuesday to Saturday from 10am to 4.30pm, opening on 10th May and running until 11th June 2016.

Entry is free and there is more information at

Reusing coppiced willow

The willow surrounding the pond on Cranleigh Common (opposite the old cinema) was coppiced by volunteers at the end of last month.

It has been fantastic to see this coppiced willow being reused locally in other projects.

Some of the willow was incorporated in the new hedge outside Cranleigh Cricket Club. This is by far the most local use of the willow, as it is only just across the road from where it was harvested!

The remainder was taken to Farnham where it has been used to reinforce the river bank along Borrelli Walk.



Thank you to Waverley Borough Council Countryside Ranger James Caldwell for the photographs.

The willow which will be coppiced next week from around the pond at the top of Cranleigh Common already has a new home.

Most of this will be chipped and used in Summerlands in Cranleigh along a muddy stretch of footpath.

Some will be donated to a local primary school who will use the bundle of willow for basket making and within their Forest School activities.

As we continue to improve the environment in Cranleigh, it is really positive that these natural materials can be reused and put to a good purpose.

Volunteers wanted for the next pond clearing working party

Cranleigh Common Pond before conservation work

After successfully clearing the pond opposite the old cinema, it is time to move onto the next one!

We are looking for volunteers to help at a pond working party on Friday 18th March.

The volunteer working party will take place at the pond on the corner of Horseshoe Lane, on the common, from 10am to 2pm.

The goal for this working party is to coppice the willow surrounding the pond, improving the habitat for amphibian life.

Due to the confirmed presence of Great Crested Newts, we are unable to work in the pond itself until later in the year, so will be working from the banks only at this time.

The willow which is coppiced from this pond will be chipped and taken to Summerlands where it will be used along a muddy path.

If you are able to help with this project, even for a couple of hours, please email or