Best Kept Allotment Award launched

A NEW addition to the ‘Best Kept’ awards has been launched, seeking Northern Ireland’s best allotment.

The organisers of the scheme already acknowledges towns, housing areas, healthcare facilities and schools for their commitment to the natural and built environment.

Now the 2011 SuperValu Best Kept Awards have been launched with a new category to acknowledge local councils which encourage communities to grow their own produce by providing top class allotment facilities, as well as the tenants who showcase the best plot.

Council owned allotment participants in Banbridge are being urged to take on the Best Kept Award challenge in 2011, along with towns, villages, schools and health and social care facilities across the region.

The Best Kept Awards are organised annually by the Northern Ireland Amenity Council (NIAC) and sponsored by retail group SuperValu and its independent retail partners across Northern Ireland.

The scheme has received more than 13,000 entries over the past 50 years and last year Scarva was named the Best Kept Small Village, with Banbridge finishing runner-up in the Best Kept Large Town section of the awards.

Doreen Muskett MBE, President of NIAC, said, “For more than five decades the Best Kept Awards have encouraged local communities to make the most of their outdoor spaces and to preserve our natural environment.

“Our work continues today, as we look for new ways to recognise green community projects and the introduction of the Best Kept Allotment Award reflects the increasing interest in growing our own fruit, vegetables, herbs and flowers.

“When we looked at the number of council-owned allotments now operating in the province, we thought it was time to present an award for the best facilities and the one that is most cared for.”

Closing date for the awards is April 21, with Healthcare Facility Awards closing on May 27 and the schools category open until March 4.

Entry forms are available from NIAC on 9040 3681 or visit www.niacbestkept.com for more information.