Astwood Bank Community Group were looking to develop a programme that impacted
the whole of our community, and so the idea of Astwood Bank in Bloom (ABIB) was
formed. Starting with a small group of enthusiastic gardeners and with the support of
Redditch Borough Council and the Astwood Bank Community Group, funding was made available to acquire several large planters to place around the village. In addition to these the team have created and look after several flower beds and over 20 wooden
troughs placed under street signs around the village.
ABIB has been supported since the beginning by the team at Botany Bay Nurseries and includes the involvement of well over twenty local businesses, and many local residents who do their bit by watering and generally maintaining the displays, as well as getting stuck in with some of the larger projects.
Every summer we have a different colour scheme so that all residents can get involved some way in planting up their baskets, troughs, beds in that year’s colours.
We’ve been financially supported by Astwood Bank Community Group, Redditch Borough Council, our Worcestershire County Councillors and grants from Asda and Waitrose amongst others. We also organise our own events to help cover our ongoing costs. In 2018 we held a highly successful Bloom market as well as a Strawberries & Cream event. In 2019 we had our Open Gardens event. The next one is scheduled for 2022. In 2020 we had a Bloom stall at the Astwood Bank Club Flower & Produce show which proved very popular and helped raise further funds.
To ensure that there is an amazing display of spring bulbs throughout the village each year the Bloom team organise an annual bulb planting event in Autumn. All residents are invited to bring planting tools and join in. To date well over 10,000 bulbs have been planted.
In 2020 the ABIB team identified an opportunity to significantly improve both the appearance of, but also the environmental capacity of Overdale Park. Through the support of Natural Networks (a joint offering from Worcestershire County Council and Worcestershire Wildlife Trust) the Park has seen a number of improvements: the creation of a community orchard, clearing out the wetlands area, tidying up of beds, planting native shrubs, installation of bird and bat boxes and the creation of wildlife friendly environments.
We’ve also worked hard to improve the community land in Hoopers Lane and Feckenham Road.
If you want to help the team out in any capacity just drop an email to Bloom@astwoodbankcarnival.co.uk