Parish in Bloom

Parish in Bloom

Fawkham Parish Council entered Fawkham into “Parish in Bloom” for the first time in 2020 and we were delighted to achieve a Silver Award. We think it can be a good way to help build a sense of community and we believe our parish is a place to be proud of, and Parish in Bloom can be a good way to show this.

Parish in Bloom certificate.pdfa

The Parish in Bloom scheme is run by South & South East in Bloom. The criteria are low key and involve assessment of Community Involvement; Environmental Responsibility; and Maintenance: Gardening, Horticulture & Tree Maintenance, and Street Furniture. It’s not all about flowers and hanging baskets! Assessment takes place each year between mid June and mid July. The full assessment criteria can be found here.

We think this initiative can help to:

  • Develop a sense of community
  • Encourage respect and care for the natural environment 
  • Make Fawkham an even more desirable place to live
  • Engender a love of flowers, plants and trees

The Parish in Bloom initiative was assessed in 2020 by a written submission. Our submission can be read here: Parish in Bloom portfolio for Fawkham July 2020. Some highlights are shown below:

Volunteers planted more than 500 daffodil and tulip bulbs on the Village Green, in the Churchyard, under the new “Fawkham” entry gates and on Baldwin’s Green during the autumn of 2019. In the autumn of 2020, crocus bulbs were added to Baldwin’s Green. Since then, we have removed much of the grass and sowed wild flower seeds instead, with the bulbs appearing in spring, followed by wild flowers in the summer.

Fawkham Village sign on a wooden post with tulips and daffodils planted beneath
Baldwins Green with tulips and daffodils
Fawkham sign on wooden post with tulips in flower beneath it
Village green sign with tulips in flower

Led by the Parish  Council, we have a small team of volunteers that comprise our cleaning team. Activities have included refurbishing the benches on the village green, maintaining pathways and cleaning road signs and post boxes.

road sign Fawkham Road, dirty and covered in brambles
clean road sign saying Fawkham Road
road sign "unsuitable for HGVs"
Road sign"unsuitable for HGVs"
dirty post box
shiny red post box
old wooden bench
bench rubbed down with a sander
Wooden bench newly varnished

Obviously, lockdown during 2020 meant our plans were altered, as there were restrictions on what it was possible to do. However, we were still able to do some things as a community. These included:

  • A sunflower competition, where children were invited to collect a sunflower seed and pot, and see how tall they grew.
    photo showing a girl with a sunflower plantphoto showing box of sunflower seeds and pots
  • Planting summer-flowering perennials by the two new village gatewaysphoto showing village sign saying welcome to Fawkham
  • People making bug hotels for their gardens – see photos below
  • Planting a tree in the churchyard to commemorate VE Day 75


tree planted in a churchyard alongside a VE Day flag

    Filbert tree planted in the churchyard for VE Day 75
  • Encouraging the exploration and enjoyment of the beautiful woods and green areas through the Fawkham Rocks initiative
  • Picking litter during daily exercise sessions.
two boys collecting litter with a black sack
Collecting litter

It is hoped we will enter Parish in Bloom some time again in the future, with assessment made by judges visiting the village to see for themselves what we have done. We’re open to ideas and suggestions so please contact us with your thoughts!

Some ideas…

Bird boxes: Does anyone have the skills and time to make some bird boxes? These could be put up in your garden or, if anyone would like to make and donate some, we can put them on the trees in the Village Green. There’s a guide on how to do this on the RSPB’s website.

Hedgehogs: Does anyone in Fawkham have hedgehogs visiting their garden? If anyone does, here are a couple of ideas to help them:

How to build a hedgehog home

How to create a hedgehog hole

Bug hotels: how to build one

These two were built during lockdown in 2020:

photo of a bug hotelphoto of the bug hotel