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Tatton bronze medal for Bootle community gardeners

An entry created by a group of green-fingered community gardening enthusiasts from Bootle has landed a top prize at the prestigious RHS Tatton Flower Show.

Judges awarded the Could Car Less show garden from Taking Root in Bootle a bronze medal in the Greener Front Garden category of the competition.

Taking Root in Bootle is a network of community gardens and growing projects across the town which is co-ordinated by local social enterprise Regenerus.

The aim of the network is to enhance the appearance of Bootle, and at the same time to improve the health and wellbeing of all those involved.

The prize-winning entry at Tatton is designed to highlight the importance of giving up the car and travelling in a more eco-friendly way.

The replica of a typical Bootle front garden – the brainchild of Christine Leung of social enterprise Lotus Brook – features creative and practical ideas for bicycle storage, including an upcycled bike shed with a temperature-moderating living roof.

Other features of the sustainable garden designed to promote diversity include a rainwater harvesting system and 70 species of trees, shrubs and perennials which attract pollinators, capture heat, retain carbon and moisture and maximise oxygen production.

Christine explained: “Our garden is all about encouraging people to switch to two wheels using bikes that are easy access, making them a convenient alternative to driving.

We also want people to think twice before paving over outside spaces to make parking areas which contribute to biodiversity loss and the overheating of cities.”

Ruth Livesey of Regenerus said : “After two years of success at Tatton with their smaller community borders I am delighted that members of Taking Root in Bootle are among the prizes again with their first-ever show garden.

As well as putting the spotlight on a very important ‘green’ message the garden is a wonderful celebration of all the efforts our volunteers have made to improve Bootle over the last seven years.”

Simon O’Brien, the Walking and Cycling Commissioner for Liverpool City Region, added: “Currently only two per cent of all journeys in the Liverpool City Region are taken by bike, so I’m hoping to see more front gardens like this one sprouting up in our built-up neighbourhoods.”

The RHS Tatton Flower Show is one of the highlights of the North West horticultural calendar.

It features innovative show gardens, floral marquees, talks, demonstrations, advice, trade stands and exhibitors, all wrapped up in a vibrant carnival atmosphere.