Blooming marvellous result as Derry strikes gold in Sunderland

Derry City and Strabane District Council Ground Maintenance Manager Danny McCartney celebrates after receiving the gold award from Jon Wheatley, RHS Council member.

Derry City and Strabane District Council Ground Maintenance Manager Danny McCartney celebrates after receiving the gold award from Jon Wheatley, RHS Council member.

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Derry City and Strabane District Council grounds staff are celebrating again after scooping the top prize in their section at the Royal Horticultural Society’s “Britain in Bloom” awards in Sunderland at the weekend.

The latest recognition comes hot on the heels of the city picking up two prizes at the Translink Ulster in Bloom Competition last month.

Representing Ulster, Derry was one of only seven areas from across the UK chosen to compete in the Small City category of the awards.

The gold medal confirms Derry’s position as one of the greenest and most beautiful small cities in the United Kingdom.

Council’s Ground Maintenance Manager Danny McCartney was at the ceremony, hosted by TV Gardening Expert Chris Beardshaw, to receive the award.

“We are delighted our City and District has scooped this prestigious award,” he said. “We are extremely proud to receive it on behalf of everyone in Derry and Strabane.

“A lot of effort is put in by Council staff who pull out the stops with inspirational floral displays and beautiful parks to make it a place we are proud to live and work.

“This award not only recognises the dedication and creativity of our Council’s Grounds Maintenance and Cleansing teams but also the contribution made by local business, schools and community organisations to improve the lives of residents, workers and visitors to our city.

“When the judges visited over the summer it was clear that they were impressed with the maintenance of our displays and also their strong strategic placement.

“I want to thank my team at the Council and congratulate them on securing this title again.”

Mayor of Derry City and Strabane District Council, Alderman Hilary McClintock, extended her congratulations to Danny and his team.

“This title is just reward for the dedication of Council’s Ground Maintenance and Street Cleansing sections in developing and maintaining the vast network of flowers and shrubbery around the locality,” she said.

“Our plant and floral presentations, grass cutting and cleansing regimes are crucial in presenting the City and District as a welcoming place to visitors and they help communities develop a sense of civic pride.

“The colourful and vibrant displays have really helped give our public areas a visual lift in recent years, particularly in the summer months, and it is no surprise that it has been recognised at such a high level.”

For more information about RHS Britain in Bloom visit www.rhs.org.uk/communities