We were very successful and won a Silver Gilt award at the recent Floral Guernsey Community Awards ceremony, one up on last year's silver. We also won Gold again for the Douzaine Room and were joint winners with St. Andrew's for the Norma Ozanne Perpetual Trophy & Queux Patio Schools' Award. The schools will share a wooden sunflower trophy and each received £100 in Queux Patio Plant Centre gift vouchers.
The Forest also won the 'Local Roots' Award for heritage.
The Floral Guernsey Award Ceremony took place at Les Cotils where we enjoyed a very good dinner prior to the awards being presented.
The judges arrived at Chemin Le Roi cemetery and were greeted by Sarah Plumley and Marguerite Paul who would accompany them on the chosen route through the parish. George Timmer was the driver of the mini-bus, which had been decorated throughout with flowers.
Before the judges were taken out in the minibus Sarah gave an introduction about our year. First stop was the allotments at Geoff Brouard's vinery, where the judges met one of the allotment holders and learnt about his crops. Then we stopped at the magnificent display at The Forest Methodist Church and met Brian Guille and Louise Northgrave of the Forest Pre-school. The judges were very impressed with the Brian's plants which had been grown from seed and pleased to meet the children and see their flower pots.
Next stop was at Le Bourg where Woggy gave the history of his house, which is where Mr De la Rue had lived. The judges were shown the new planters and were pleased to see that we had received sponsorship for some of them. They commented on the new planting:
"It was encouraging to note that there has been a continued drive to sustainable planting, and the creation of a tray system in planters to allow seasonal bedding to be changed while retaining sustainable structure plants was novel and praiseworthy."
The judges continued to the Forest School where Mrs Falla (acting headteacher) and the children were waiting to show the judges all the work they had done at their Gardening Club. The children's enthusiasm was evident.
"The children of the gardening club at Forest Primary School displayed boundless enthusiasm in their activities, and have been rewarded with high quality fruit and vegetables. The judges were delighted to meet the members of the gardening club who were so well-informed, and it is encouraging to learn that the garden may be extended in 2012."
We drove down Le Bigard and walked up the cliff path hearing about path maintenance by States Works and at Les Caches Farm had a guided tour of the house by Paul Le Pelley of the National Trust. The judges wrote in their comments:
"A most informative tour included the history of the parish described by Marguerite Paul, Woggy Bienvenu, and Paul le Pelley of the National Trust. Several sites of interest were visited including the Holy Well, the National Trust Property of La Caches, and the German Occupation Museum. Marguerite in particular possessed a wonderful knowledge of the area. The judges applauded the Green Lane scheme. The judges departed having learned so much about the history, heritage and natural environment of the parish."
Passing our future project to renovate Les Houards well, the judges finished the route at the Occupation Museum for coffee and homemade macaroons where they met the deadheading team of volunteers and other members of the Forest Floral committee. The judges' overall comment was:
"A most interesting and informative tour provided the judges with a fascinating history of the parish. Some positive achievements have taken place over the past twelve months and there are a number of exciting projects underway. Renewal of planters at the Douzaine Room and the Le Bourg bus stop has enhanced the floral displays at those locations and the energy and enthusiasm of the volunteers are to be commended; their efforts have been made evident during the judging tour."
I therefore would like to thank all the Forest parishioners who have volunteered in some way to make the parish a better place to live. We look forward to your continued support. If you would like to help, please get in touch with any of the Committee members.
Chairperson and Secretary
Forest Floral Group