Canterbury awarded gold in South and South East Bloom competition
24 September 2019
Canterbury Christ Church University grounds have been commended by judges of the Royal Horticultural Society’s South and South East in Bloom competition.
The city won ‘gold’ in this year’s awards.
The ‘Canterbury in Bloom Committee’, led by the BID (Business Improvement District), is formed of 20 local community groups, businesses and local authority members who work to keep Canterbury’s gardens, parks and streets flourishing throughout the year.
Commenting on the ground of the University, one of the Bloom judges said: “The grounds at Canterbury Christ Church were really interesting and a great credit to the city.“
Christ Church has been involved in many projects over the years and nurtures its green spaces and species on campus. Spaces included a physic garden, heritage orchard and nuttery, wildflower areas and green walls. The University is also transforming the Johnson Garden into a Community Wellbeing Garden, offering a quiet and relaxing place, using organic and permaculture methods where students and staff can refresh their mind, body and soul. It will include weekly tea foraging session and gentle sustainability activities.
The University also provides opportunities for staff and students to grow their own fruit, vegetables and herbs on campus allotments, practice beekeeping and hop-growing, and take part in annual honey and hop harvests from which heritage ale and honey are produced.
The mobile community wood fired bread oven provides opportunities to bring and bake. All facets of these projects are intended to act as educational resources to integrate with curriculum outcomes.
Life Sciences students have been isolating strains of yeast from the campus for use in both beer and bread making, as well as studying hop disease management. Other students, including geographers and environmental science students study the biodiversity on campus as part of their formal and informal curricula.
The Futures Initiative of Canterbury Christ Church University is working across disciplines within the university to find innovative ways to embed sustainability into as much of the curriculum as possible.
The goal in entering the Bloom competition is to develop relationships across the city between the wide variety of groups engaged in supporting their community in a number of ways associated with horticulture, biodiversity and the environment. While making improvements to the city, partnerships enable all of us to work together better on a wide range of other issues that help businesses, our residents, our students and enable visitors to enjoy the city.