Adlington & District In Bloom: The Chorley group harnessing the power of green spaces

Well-kept green spaces are invaluable in any society.

Thursday, 8th April 2021, 7:00 am
Adlington & District In Bloom members (from left) Jeanette Lowe, Barbara Shaw, and Janet Smith at the War Memorial

Across the world, there is a concerted effort to encourage the incorporation of nature into our local communities as people gain a keener appreciation for the benefits that indigenous flora and fauna can bring.

It’s a concept a local group in Chorley has been extolling for years.

The Adlington & District In Bloom group was founded in 2007 with the aim of coming together to improve the local environment in Adlington, Anderton, and Heath Charnock.

The War Memorial

Comprising of mainly local retired people with a passion for all things bucolic, the group works throughout Spring, Summer, and Autumn to add a dash of greenery to their communities.

As well as maintaining the grounds of the Adlington War Memorial, the Leonard Fairclough Memorial Garden, and a handful of other small garden areas, the group also looks after around 50 planters scattered throughout the area, with members taking ownership for a planter close to their home and ensuring it looks as presentable as possible.

In turn, the planters are then sponsored by local businesses and individuals keen to support the effort to keep the local area looking presentable.

“I was one of the founder members of the group, [which] was originally the idea of one of the Adlington Councillors with the three villages agreeing to join together to form a group,” explains Chair Jeanette Lowe. “We were very small for the first year or two, but we have grown since.

Fairclough Gardens

“I was keen to join as I’ve always been interested in plants and flowers and in seeing the village looking tidy, especially as I am a judge for the Lancashire Best Kept Village competition, which I’ve organised for 10 years,” adds Jeanette. “We all like to keep the villages looking clean and tidy and we have won a few awards over the years.”

That they have.

In fact, Adlington & District In Bloom has won the Silver Award at North West In Bloom seven times in the past 10 years, as well as claiming a Chorley Civic Society award for their work on the Adlington and District War Memorial Project and winning an award in the Public Gardens Category at the 2018 Lancashire Best Kept Village competition for their work at Fairclough Gardens.

“It’s very important that local communities are looked after so that people take pride in their surroundings and enjoy a better quality of life,” explains Jeanette. “Residents are very appreciative of the hard work we do - we receive many positive comments when we are working - and we’re very lucky to have so much local support.

“And, even though many businesses have been closed over the past year, they have still supported us.”

Local green spaces not only provide a place in which local fauna and flora can thrive, but they also offer local residents a place in which to exercise and enjoy the natural world, which has been shown to have a significant positive impact on people’s well-being and mental health.

What’s more, they play a vital role in combating the impacts of carbon pollution and something called the urban heat island effect, which is where a proliferation of buildings and concrete traps heat and smog into a compacted area.

And, with around 14 members on hand to do their part with everything from the maintenance of individual planters to socially-distanced litter-picking sessions, Adlington & District In Bloom is making a big difference.

“We worked all through the summer last year,” says Jeanette. “That was quite easy as our larger areas make it easy to spread out and for individuals to work on their allocated planters alone.

“We all get on well together and enjoy the social aspect of gardening together,” Jeanette adds. “Socially distanced, of course!”