Could you dig deep to support Stone in Bloom?

In Walton, the corner of Tilling Drive, off the Eccleshall Road, benefited from the hard work of the Stone in Bloom volunteers.

We cleared a litter-strewn, overgrown bed which was restricting the visibility of motorists who were turning on to the Eccleshall Road. The bed took three days in total to clear and it was lucky that friend of Stone in Bloom Pete Arnold was passing by when we were in the middle of clearing. Pete asked how we were going to clear away what we had cut down. We had to admit that was something we were going to think about when we had finished and no sooner had we told him than he was there with his trailer, helping us to load it all on. Pete took it off to another very valuable friend of ours at Mill Farm who recycles green waste and, as they say in the trade, the job was a good un, our big thanks to both.

During that work party session our tools were tested to the limit and we broke secateurs and loppers which we have been able to replace with funds from our Friends of Stone in Bloom Card Scheme. Joining the scheme costs £15 per couple or £10 for a single card holder with many discounted offers at various businesses and garden centres; this ensures we can buy tools, paint and materials to work in and around our town.

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The following weekend we worked on the plane tree bed, followed by the anchor bed and the entire area in front of Mojo’s restaurant is looking good, as is the rest of the town. Plans are in place for our judging route on July 9th and the school we have chosen to visit this year is Pirehill First School. Over the years we have always been pleasantly surprised by the enthusiasm of the children and staff in each school that we have taken the judges to.

We have outstanding schools in Stone and I’m sure those of you who were at the St George’s Day event in the Market Square noticed the bunting and shields decorating the railings, all handmade and designed by the pupils of Christ Church Academy art department under the guidance of Miss Del Fares.

Pete Arnold returns with his trailer to help

Stone in Bloom worked hard in the High Street, getting it ready for the event and our two licensed weed sprayers had guaranteed a clear High Street and the surrounding area. They have been out and about doing their job and very soon there will be a lot of brown patches which we will clear.

Have you been watching the BBC2 Britain in Bloom series which has given a clear insight into what towns, villages and cities all have to do to reach judging day? It’s amazing how much funding goes into some of the entries. Stone benefits from Stone Town council’s generosity in providing hanging baskets for the town and we also couldn’t do the competition without Streetscene. Sponsors would be so welcome; just imagine what we could do for the town with sponsorship money. The Stone & Eccleshall Gazette is always so very generous and gives a donation to us each year and of course we are hugely appreciative to all the hours put in by our volunteers. However, if you love your town and have a few spare bob, then please consider us. It costs us around £3,000 for the wildflowers and we would like to increase the areas around the town.

If you are interested in purchasing a loyalty card, making a donation, becoming a committee member or joining in our work parties please contact the secretary on 01785 818889 or 077364 13097.

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The 5th Stone Beavers will be soon working on their bed in Abbey Street and donations of plants would be a big help to them. For more details contact secretary Tracey Neagus on 07545 780935.