Communities who are working together to make their area a greener and cleaner place to live are invited to sign up for ‘It’s Your Neighbourhood’ – part of the Royal Horticultural Society’s Britain in Bloom campaign.

Last year, 51 groups from Nottingham received awards to celebrate their efforts in brightening up their own patch of the city.  This year’s campaign in Nottingham is again backed by Capital One, which will give a £25 voucher for Woodthorpe Park Plant Shop for each group to be assessed.

The IYN awards encourage communities to work together to improve their area through gardening and other environmental initiatives. Entry is free. A wide range of groups get involved, including; community gardens, streets, sheltered housing complexes, Friends’ groups from local parks, Neighbourhood Watch schemes and churches. Participants report a better environment, improved community spirit and pride in the area as well as less anti-social behaviour.

Windmill Community Gardens off Aspley Lane has taken part in IYN for several years.  It is known as the Climate Friendly Garden, with fascinating horticultural experiments going on in every corner, and a team of dedicated multicultural volunteers.

Garden worker Tracey Lloyd said: “The ‘It’s Your Neighbourhood’ award gives us a great outside view of the work we do at the Windmill Community Gardens, and the volunteers really value the award as a recognition of all their hard work.”

Each community sets its own targets and works at its own pace.  Pairs of volunteer assessors will visit each group in July or August to see what progress has been made and to give ideas and suggestions.  Marks are given in three areas – Community Participation, Environmental Responsibility and Gardening Achievement.  More information is available from Nottingham in Bloom on 0115 8764985 or

Rupert MacInnes, Vice President External Affairs, Capital One, said: “Capital One is proud to support this important local initiative. As a Nottingham-based company, we have a strong culture for supporting our local community.

“The ‘It’s Your Neighbourhood’ awards are a great way to ensure local green spaces reflect the region, and we look forward to hosting the presentation ceremony at our Station Street headquarters.”

Councillor Malcolm Wood, Chair of the Nottingham in Bloom Working Group, said: “We are grateful for the support from Capital One in helping to celebrate the efforts of these local groups of friends and neighbours who work together to improve their area.

“A wide variety of groups can participate in the ‘It’s Your Neighbourhood’ campaign and I’d encourage more to join in. Official accreditation from the Royal Horticultural Society through IYN is not only worthwhile in its own right but can also support groups’ applications for funding and for other awards.”