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Southport Flower Show opens its gates

Wednesday, 22 August 2012

Over 80,000 people are expected to visit Southport Flower Show this year, to see the gardens designed by two youngsters in a competition sponsored by the West Lancashire Freemasons

The prestigious David Bellamy School Garden Competition has been won this year by Jessica Simpson from Ashbridge Independent School in Preston and Mia Hodkinson and Emma Chapman who made a joint entry from Stanton Road Primary School in the Wirral.  The competition is held each year in association with Southport Flower Show and the West Lancashire Freemasons’ Charity, and gives a chance for the gardeners of the future to create a garden for the show each year. It is open to all primary school children in years 5 and 6 across the North West, and this year’s competition was entered by 276 children across Lancashire, Cheshire, Manchester and Merseyside.

The two winning designs, chosen by a panel of judges, were once again constructed by a professional garden company and were there for all to see when the show opened on Thursday 16 August.

The two winners, their families and their teachers were invited to the show to meet Professor David Bellamy OBE and be presented with £500 to enhance their school grounds, and a £50 gift voucher for themselves.

The head teacher, from Ashbridge Independent School, Hilary Sharples, said: "This is the first time our school has entered the competition and we're extremely proud that one of our students has won - it is fantastic to see the garden come to life at the show. This is a great competition giving children the opportunity to link their design skills with a love of wildlife and horticulture - encouraging creativity while also helping the planet.”

Ashbridge Independent School plan to use the £500 to develop an area within their grounds which will encourage bees and butterflies to visit the school and nursery, and also to extend the wildflower meadow for the youngest children in the baby unit.

Peter Hosker, Provincial Grand Master of West Lancashire, and President of the West Lancashire Freemasons’ Charity said: ”We are delighted to have once again had the opportunity of sponsoring this very prestigious competition. As Freemasons we support many community projects and to get children involved in gardening is very worthwhile.”