Bexhill gardens award leaves Greenwich green with envy

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Bexhill gardens award leaves Greenwich green with envy

A 'hidden gem' in the heart of Bexhill old town has won out against illustrious competition to claim a prestigious national prize.

Manor Gardens, in De La Warr Road, claimed the top award in the grounds maintenance - free public access category of the British Association of Landscape Industries (BALI) awards.

The gardens, maintained for Rother District Council by contractor idverde, emerged ahead of London's famous Greenwich Park and Royal Museums Greenwich.

Judges praised the 'pristine' gardens and the attention to detail, warmth and passion shown by groundsman Mike Cranfield, for whom they said maintaining the gardens was a 'labour of love'.

Cllr Ian Jenkins, district council cabinet member for young people, sport and leisure, said: "To win this national award in the face of such eminent competition and so many well-deserving projects around the country is a fantastic achievement.

"It is testament to the tremendous skill and painstaking care shown by Mike and the support he gets from idverde colleagues and our own officers.

"All year round, they work tirelessly to ensure the gardens are kept to the highest standards, creating a calm, tranquil space which the judges quite aptly described as a 'hidden gem'."

The 2.6-acre site comprises a walled garden, rose garden, rhododendron collection, lawn and pond, alongside the remains of the 13th century manor house after which they are named.

The award comes two years after the district council and idverde won in the same category for landscaping work on Bexhill's West Parade as part of the Next Wave seafront regeneration scheme.

Martin Packman, operations director for idverde, said: "We are delighted that Manor Gardens has been recognised with this top industry award.

"It is a credit to the hard work of our teams on the ground and to the close partnership we have with the district council, which enables us to jointly achieve these high standards.

"We are looking forward to many more years of partnership with the district council and to continuing the delivery of award-winning standards for the area."

In distinguished company - the two other shortlisted sites

The 183-acre Greenwich Park is one of London's eight Royal Parks, along with the likes of Hyde Park and Kensington Gardens. Set on a hill overlooking the River Thames, it is part of a UNESCO World Heritage Site, through which passes the Greenwich Meridian - centre of world time.

Royal Museums Greenwich was shortlisted for 12-acres of landscaping works in the grounds of the world famous National Maritime Museum, Queen's House and Royal Observatory. The complex lies in the same UNESCO World Heritage site as Greenwich Park and attracts 2.4 million visitors a year.

Published on Tuesday, December 12 2017

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