Islington in Bloom 2016 is ‘grassroots activism’

Prah Road was named 'best street', sponsored by the Gazette. Residents are presented with the award

Prah Road was named 'best street', sponsored by the Gazette. Residents are presented with the award by Mayor of Islington Kat Fletcher and Gazette editor Ramzy Alwakeel - Credit: Archant

There’s more to gardening than just making things look nice.

That was the message of this year’s Islington in Bloom, the annual celebration of all things horticultural in one of London’s most densely packed urban spaces.

Fifteen community groups and individuals collected top prizes in a range of categories at the Assembly Hall ceremony last night, with everything from volunteer-run parks to tiny “tree pits” being celebrated.

Schoolchildren were also called up to receive gifts and shake hands with the mayor after designing posters for next year’s contest and working on beautiful green spaces in their playgrounds.

As young mayor Darey Cletus put it to rapturous applause: “Young people are part of the solution and not part of the problem.”

The borough’s environment boss Cllr Claudia Webbe added: “As a council, we are always under pressure but despite huge government cuts by working together we have achieved great things, obtaining gold and borough of the year in London in Bloom last year.

“Everyone can and does get involved – despite our backgrounds, despite our cultures and despite our ages – and get together.”

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Mayor Cllr Kat Fletcher told the packed room gardening was a vital social activity that got people exercising outside and meeting new faces.

Cllr Webbe added the work that had been done to make Islington greener was “a powerful demonstration of grassroots activism at a local level”.

See next week’s print edition of the Gazette, out Thursday, for a full list of winners, pictures and stories from across Islington.

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