It’s official – Kings Hill is blooming great
Kings Hill has won a Silver Gilt Award in the South & South East in Bloom competition and has inspired the organisers to consider creating a brand new category for new communities.
This is the first time Kings Hill developer Liberty Property Trust has entered the competition, and was the only company to do so, the rest of the entrants being councils and community groups.
It entered the ‘village/town centre’ category, focussing on the landscaping that links the residential neighbourhoods running from the recently refurbished World War II Control Tower in the village retail centre to the cricket ground, one of its schools and finishing in a pedestrian greenway.
The judges visited Kings Hill in July and called the ‘live,work,play’ community ‘unique’. South & South East in Bloom chairman Peter Holman also said that Kings Hill is a new village with a difference and could be the start of a new category in its own right.
Liberty is advised by project ecologist Susan Deakin and the 800 acre site is maintained by Coblands Landscapes, which was presented with a discretionary Judges Award for its contribution to Kings Hill’s success – the only contractor to be recognised in this way.
South & South East in Bloom judge Mary Ann Winterman commented: “Kings Hill’s residential and business areas are set in a carefully planned and very well maintained landscape that incorporates many natural features which are a haven for wildlife, both flora and fauna.
“It was heartening to learn from the residents we spoke to about how much they appreciate the environment in which they live and to hear how friendly they find all of the maintenance and security staff.”
Sponsor Southern Water invited Blue Peter gardener Chris Collins to present the awards at a ceremony attended by some 400 people at Brighton’s Amex Stadium.
Susan Davies of Liberty Property Trust, developer of Kings Hill, said: “The awards are not just about making a place look beautiful, although that is obviously important. Points are awarded for community involvement, horticultural achievement and environmental responsibility throughout the year.
“As this was the first time we had entered we are thrilled with the result. Landscaping is key to placemaking – creating an attractive place to live, work and play – and to be one of the few private companies recognised is a real achievement.”
More than 2,000 sq m of poppies and wildflowers were planted this year and residents were offered free packets of poppy seeds to plant in their own gardens to commemorate the start of World War I.