Search for best blooms in Mid and East Antrim

David Brown; Moira Rodgers, Whitehead in Bloom; Timothy Gaston, Deputy Mayor Mid and East Antrim Borough Council; Alderman Carla Lockhart, president NI Local Government Association; Frank Mitchell, Translink chairman; Susan Lynn, The Conservation Volunteers; Mandy Hall , Mid and East Antrim Borough Council; Philip Thompson, director of operational services, Mid and East Antrim Borough Council. INLT 27-663-CON

David Brown; Moira Rodgers, Whitehead in Bloom; Timothy Gaston, Deputy Mayor Mid and East Antrim Borough Council; Alderman Carla Lockhart, president NI Local Government Association; Frank Mitchell, Translink chairman; Susan Lynn, The Conservation Volunteers; Mandy Hall , Mid and East Antrim Borough Council; Philip Thompson, director of operational services, Mid and East Antrim Borough Council. INLT 27-663-CON

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The 2015 Translink Ulster in Bloom Competition has been launched.

The 37th year of the annual horticultural competition has attracted 132 entries representing all of the new council areas as well as 31 bus and train stations are all preparing to impress judges with beautiful plant and floral presentations.

Competition categories include: Small Village; Large Village; Small Town; Town; Large Town; City; Roses in Towns; Special Awards for Outstanding Presentation; Ulsterbus Tours Community Champion; Community Rail Halt; Floral Station and Most Improved.

This year, the competition is going digital to celebrate the best blooms Northern Ireland has to offer. Whether it’s a rosy village roundabout, a blossoming town business or a perfect park in the city, Translink wants everyone to join the Ulster in Bloom celebrations.

The public can tweet their ‘Best Bloom’ photos to @Translink_NI #TranslinkUIB highlighting where they were taken and they’ll be included in an online album of all the beautiful displays blooming across Northern Ireland. Photos that are selected will also win Translink iLink travelcards.

Speaking at the official launch, Translink’s chairman Frank Hewitt explained:“Ulster in Bloom has entered a new era following local government reform and the response to this year’s competition is excellent with all the new councils submitting entries.

“The awards encourage cities, towns and villages right across Northern Ireland to look their best, boosting civic pride through beautiful plant and floral displays.

“We know there are many hidden horticultural gems out there and by inviting members of the public to tweet us photos of those local displays that brighten up their day, we hope to uncover even more of the excellent local gardening talent that makes Northern Ireland blossom.

“Judges will be out in July and August to assess this year’s entries and we would also encourage more people to make smart moves by bus or train during the summer to explore some of the beautiful Ulster in Bloom locations.”

Alderman Carla Lockhart, president, Northern Ireland Local Government Association, said: “Translink Ulster in Bloom celebrates the successes that can be achieved when councils, ‘Bloom’ committees, residents and businesses, come together to take pride in the places where they live and work, and together create a better environment for everyone to live in.

“On behalf of NILGA, I would like to convey our admiration, appreciation and encouragement to each and every one of you here today. With the ongoing partnership support of the new 11 councils and our sponsors Translink, the Association aims to build on the culture of the competition, growing it into the future, particularly through the opportunities provided by council community planning powers.”