(Photo by Gregg Brown)
Hamish Miller and Isabelle Tee from St Edmundsbury Primary School with their sunflowers at the launch of Bury In Bloom’s 2014 campaign.
West Suffolk chief reporter
Half a century has passed since the country’s leading gardening charity launched its Britain in Bloom challenge to inspire horticulturists to fill their towns with brightly coloured floral displays.
But during the 50 years since the Royal Horticultural Society (RHS) started the competition, it has noted declines in many groups of native insects such as butterflies, bees and moths, which rely on flowers for nectar and pollen.
So as part of the 50th anniversary celebrations, the society is encouraging green fingered Suffolk folk to get their gardening gloves on and set pollinating plants.
In the west of the county, Bury in Bloom has thrown its weight behind the initiative as it launches its own bid for success in the 2014 challenge.
More than 1,000 communities around the UK now enter and take part in their local region’s “In Bloom” campaign.
This week, representatives from Bury in Bloom, school students, neighbourhood groups and
Abbey Garden staff gathered to mark the
beginning of this year’s road to horticultural glory and to show their support for the push for pollinating plants.
Aside from the obvious benefit to declining insect populations, it has been estimated that the value of insect-pollinated fruit and vegetables grown in the UK is more than £400million a year.
Bury In Bloom, which is now in its 28th year, is encouraging people to grow pollinators in shades of yellow to mark the golden anniversary of the challenge.
Melanie Lesser, the group’s co-ordinator, said: “We thought it would be great to get people to plant sunflowers, which are a beautiful golden yellow to celebrate the anniversary and are a great source of food for insects. They are bright and cheerful and will help generate interest in planting.
“We are very lucky to have such enthusiastic young gardeners in the town who are sure to carry on the ‘In Bloom’ tradition. In fact last year due to the high standard of entries, we presented our Young Green Fingers award jointly to two schools – Howard Middle and St Edmundsbury Primary School.”
Insect-pollinated fruits and vegetables are worth more than £400m a year to the UK economy, say experts
East Anglian Daily Times
Bloom: Committee members and supporters wave sunflowers to welcome in this year’s Bury in Bloom campaign
Bury in Bloom has launched its annual campaign to bring colour, beauty and blooms to the town.
Plans include creating a river of flowers on Tollgate roundabout, planting poppies in the Abbey Gardens to mark the centenary of World War One and a display of wild flowers in the Great Churchyard.
Members of Bury in Bloom launched the campaign with town figures and last year’s young award winners in the Abbey Gardens.
Chairman Simon Pott said: “This has grown exponentially".
“It’s a great thing about involving the committee and as many people as it can. It’s getting people together, from children through to old age pensioners".
|“The lovely thing is getting them all together and having a great deal of fun benefiting Bury St Edmunds.”
Mr Pott has high ambitions for this year’s campaign.
He said: “We want to achieve the gold standard – and there’s no reason why we should not be awarded regionally, nationally and internationally.”
Sunflowers are the motif of this year’s campaign, which includes a competition to see whose bloom grows the tallest.
Previous projects of Bury in Bloom include installing sculptures telling the story of the town on roundabouts.
Alan Jary, chairman of the Bury Society, of which Bury in Bloom is a subcommittee, said: It’s been a roaring success we are very proud of it.”
Mr Jary said the campaign was not simply about flowers but about improving the entire outlook of the town. He said the committee has plans for many years ahead.
Bury Free Press
As part of the celebrations, the RHS is seeking old In Bloom’ pictures from previous campaigns.
Anyone who has suitable photographs is asked to email email@example.com.
To see the Bury Free Press Annual campaign brings blooms to Bury Click Here
Sculptor Ben Loughrill with pupils at Hardwick Primary School, in Bury St Edmunds.
|Youngsters have been able to get up close and personal to their own iconic animal of Bury St Edmunds.
Children at Hardwick Primary School enjoyed a special workshop with sculptor Ben Loughrill, who created the wooden wolf situated on the town’s Southgate Green roundabout. The wolf is part of the school crest and pupils watched as Mr Loughrill transformed a tree trunk into a wolf with a chainsaw before helping him to finish it off.
Headteacher Daryl Jones said: “Our school badge depicts the wolf
| guarding the crowned head of St Edmund and, being the nearest school to the sculpture
on the roundabout, we were really pleased and excited to be part of the project. The finished sculpture will take pride of place in our school for all to see and
admire for years to come.”
Melanie Lesser, Bury in Bloom, co-ordinator, who helped organise the day, said: “The children had the chance to learn about the legend of the wolf guarding the head of St Edmund while creating a piece of art.”
East Anglian Daily Times
To see a time lapse film of Ben Loughrill creating the wolf sculpture from an oak log please Click here.
Sculptor Ben Loughrill visited Howard Middle School in Bury for a wolf-carving workshop.
|Middle school students have learned carving skills from the sculptor who designed the 7ft wolf statue which was recently installed on a Bury St Edmunds roundabout.
Bury in Bloom organised a wolf carving workshop at Howard Middle School with St Edmund’s wolf artist Ben Loughrill. The school’s logo bears a wolf in its crest.
In addition to working with the sculptor, the pupils have produced artwork depicting the legend about St Edmund’s severed head being guarded by a wolf.
|The school workshop is part of the St Edmund’s wolf project which has been sponsored by Bennett Homes, St Edmundsbury Borough Council, Bury Town Council, Suffolk
County Council and Our Bury St Edmunds.
David Morris, art co-ordinator at Howard Middle, said: “Our pupils have been very excited about meeting and working with Ben as many of them have admired the sculpture on Southgate Green.”
East Anglian Daily Times
A new sculpture of a wolf guarding St Edmund’s crown has been officially unveiled in the centre of the Southgate Green roundabout.
|A sculpture representing the wolf from the legend of St Edmund has been officially unveiled.
The 7ft tall piece, which sits in the centre of the Southgate Green roundabout in Bury St Edmunds, is the result of a joint project co-ordinated by Bury in Bloom and the Bury Society. According to the legend, after the saint was killed in 869, a wolf guarded his severed head until it could be reunited with his body.
The statue carved in oak by Suffolk sculptor Ben Loughrill has been designed to spark interest in the history of St Edmund, who is believed to be buried in
The steel crown of St Edmund being guarded by the wolf was forged by Stowlangtoft blacksmith Nigel Kaines. The project has been sponsored by Bennett Homes, Bury St Edmunds Town Council, St Edmundsbury Borough Council, Suffolk County Council and Our Bury St Edmunds.
East Anglian Daily Times
Bury St Edmunds latest landmark had its official unveiling last Thursday, replacing the Bury in Bloom logo on the Southgate Green Roundabout.
The 7ft St Edmund Wolf sculpture by Ben Loughrill, from Halesworth, was covered so it could be officially unveiled in front of representatives of all the organisations and companies involved in its creation.
Bury in Bloom coordinator Melanie Lesser told the gathering: “This shows what a fantastic team project this has been across the town.”
Ben, pictured far right, carved the statue from the trunk of an oak which fell in the 1987 storm.
He said: “I used chisels for the face and eyes, but it’s 90 percent chainsaw work. Overall it took seven or eight days.”
Bury Free Press
The sculpture is now in place on the Southgate Green roundabout
Bury in Bloom commissioned the 7ft wolf to replace the old Bury in Bloom logo and tell the legend of St Edmund’s Wolf
The wolf has been carved by Suffolk sculptor Ben Loughrill from English oak that came down in the 1987 storms.
The crown of St Edmund has been forged by Stowlangtoft Blacksmith Nigel Kaines.
Proscape landscapers created the plinth where the wolf sits on a major entry into the town
This project has been sponsored by Bennett Homes, Bury St Edmunds Town Council, St Edmundsbury Borough Council, Suffolk County Council and our Bury St Edmunds.
Mark Murphy from BBC Radio Suffolk unveiled the wolf on November 21st the day after St Edmunds’ Day in front of invited guests and members of the public.
Sustainable planting and lighting will be added in the next few weeks to the installation
Ben Loughrill will be running wood craving workshops in Howard Middle and Hardwick Primary Schools both of whom have a wolf in their school’s crests
St Edmund was an Anglo-Saxon King and ruled East Anglia between 855AD and 869AD
He was killed by Viking raiders. They shot arrows into him until he bristled like a hedgehog, then the cut off his head and threw it deep into the briars in the forest.
Edmund’s body was found by his followers, they heard a voice shouting “Here,here,here” they followed the sound and found the head guarded by a wolf. When the head was put back with the body it miraculously become reattached. This was felt to be a sign of sainthood and many miracles were then attributed to Edmund and his shrine in Bury St Edmunds became a place of pilgrimage. This resulted in the growth and prosperity of the Abbey and the town.
To watch the installation of the wolf sculpture please Click here.
To see Ben Loughrill create the wolf sculpture from an oak log please Click here.