Bolton in Bloom – History


EARLY DAYS 2010 – 2014

In 2010 the Parish Council proposed that Bolton should enter the Cumbria in Bloom competition.   Eleanor Hayton and Ann Shepherd expressed an interest and a small Committee was formed comprising:

Nicky Baxter – Parish Council Rep
Linda Wade
Eleanor Hayton
Ann Shepherd

Entering the Competition gave the volunteers the aim of working towards three guiding principles – Horticultural Achievement, Environmental Responsibility and Community Participation, and these have been a continuing theme to the present day.

The Committee fulfilled the requirements of the competition in 2011 when they came away with a Silver Gilt Award.  The judges complimented the village on good garden displays, the planters, the wonderful condition of the grass verges throughout the village, the involvement of the community, the school and the maintenance group.

The village continued to maintain its level of success in 2012, 2013 and 2014, with Silver Gilt Awards, and built on the lessons learned and the advice provided by the judges. This enabled the village to receive the wonderful accolades and prizes in future years.


Pride in your Community
At the Awards Ceremony held at The Chequers Hotel Dalton in Furness on Wednesday September 16th 2015 Bolton Village received FOUR Awards plus a Special Category Award

Cumberland News Trophy
Tidiest Small Village
Eden Trophy
Most Improved in the year
Windermere Lake Cruises Gold Trophy
Best Small Village Gold Award
Kimberley Clark Trophy
Best Village Overall Gold Award
Garth View Cottage Garden Christine Rose
Runner Up in the Continental Landscapes Trophy


Ninety trees were planted on the Memorial Field by the Committee and supporters  to mark the occasion of Her Majesty The Queen’s 90th Birthday

Gardening for Health and Happiness

The results for Bolton Village were outstanding:

Winner of Friends of the Lake District Trophy for Best Sustainable Development
Winner of the Cumberland News Trophy in Tidy Village (Small) Category
Winner of Windermere Lakes Cruises Trophy in Best Small Village Category Gold Award
Winner of Kimberley Clark Trophy Best Village Overall with a Gold Award
Christine Rose, Garth View was the worthy Winner of the Continental Landscapes Trophy


RHS Campaign Greening Grey Britain for Wildlife
Another successful year with more people showing interest.
For the third year running Bolton has won the Windermere Lake Cruise Trophy Gold Award for the Best Small Village category.We also won the Cumberland News Trophy for the (Small) Tidy Village category.
Derek and Barbara Cotton won an R.H.S. Neighbourhood Scheme Award achieving a Level 5 Award for their Glebe Byre Meadow and Copse.

Memorial Hall Field

A recycling bike was donated by Christine Rose and erected by David Williams. Baskets donated by Oliver Blair were planted with flowers and ivy and hung on the handlebars.
Tyres were donated by Richard Birkbeck and filled by Tony Hindson, Brian Summerscales and Ken Shepherd. Nasturtiums were planted in these.
Brian and Sheila Summerscales have been busy with the Bog Garden. They also erected a splendid bug hotel.
Shelagh Leyland, through the Parish Council, was able to get a grant for compost bins, a garden shed, wheelbarrow, strimmer and tools.
Bolton WI donated a colourful display of filled bras which were hung in the railings.
Kath and Malc Statham organised Open Gardens and Classic Vehicle display in July. The proceeds going to village causes.
Bolton Primary School is involved in producing posters which are displayed in the village. There is also an after school gardening club.


Results of Cumbria in Bloom 2018

Cumberland News Trophy Tidy Village Winner
Cavendish Trophy Greening grey Britain for wildlife
Bolton Primary School
Friends of the Lake District Trophy Best sustainable development Runner-up
Strikes Houghton Hall Trophy Best Village Winner
Kimberley Clark Trophy Best Village Overall Winner
Cumbria in Bloom Pride in your Community Award Gold
RHS It’s Your Neighbourhood Awards



The ethos for Bolton in Bloom remains to keep the village as attractive as possible, litter free and the verges tidy. We have volunteers looking after plants, providing plants and watering.   Rowan Hastwell is coordinating the sponsors of the various planters around the village.

The Bolton in Bloom committee and supporters have planted the oak avenue, crocuses on the Village Green and approaches to the village. We are planning to plant more daffodils.  Buddleias have been planted on the Village Green.

Dean Dewey has made new planters for the Memorial Hall railings, and a planter for North End.

Brian and Sheila Summerscales have looked after the bird feeders, bird boxes and bug hotel on the Memorial Field

John Hastwell built a lovely circular seat around the oak tree on the field.  

Shelagh Leyland secured a Heritage Lottery Grant to fund the construction of a circular stone seat on the field.  Colin Bulmer and Jim Wood and other helpers completed the stonework, and an explanatory notice was erected. We will be funding trees round the new stone seat.

Penny and Dean Dewey arranged a talk and film show by Peter Tasker from Hilltop Gardens.

Penny and Dean, with John and Rowan Hastwell organised a very successful Open Gardens and Vintage Vehicle Display  in July, and they also produced an excellent photograph booklet of several of the village gardens.

We have been supported by the Parish Council. The school has been supported by Bolton in Bloom during Nature Week. The school has also been involved with the stone bench project.

The current Committee is:

Ann Shepherd Chair
Eleanor Hayton
Shelagh Leyland
Shiela Summerscales
Cathy Smith
Helen Gerrish  (since Sep 19)
Mike Gerrish (Secretary since Sep 19)


The year started with some changes in the Committee. Ann Shepherd stood down as Chair after ten years of excellent service. Helen Gerrish agreed to take over as Chair. Ann was happy to remain on the Committee. Sheila Summerscales decided to stand down from the Committee and was thanked for several years of service, in particular the hard work she and Brian took on to ensure the success of the village entry in the Cumbria in Bloom competition.

An Open Meeting was held in early March, attended by 25 villagers. At the meeting Helen launched the Bolton Gardeners Forum. The forum would be open to any villagers interested in gardening. Its purpose is to support gardeners by arranging plant sales/swaps, giving advice and answering questions, visits to local open gardens, guest speakers and anything else required. An Open Meeting was arranged for the end of March.

This was immediately scuppered by the arrival of Covid-19 and the ensuing lock downs and restrictions. No meetings or events for the Gardeners Forum could be held, and this was the case for the whole year. However, not everything ground to a halt, and we were able to carry out some good work during the year, including socially distanced Committee Meetings.

Compost Bins. Committee members Jo Pattinson and Martin Fagan did sterling work in sorting out the contents of the three bins on the Memorial Field, and labeling each. There is now one bin for new materials for composting. The others are now in the process of composting.

Trees on Memorial Field. Members of the Committee undertook cutting back the trees which were overhanging the play park and the compost bins. The grass in the area of the compost bins was trimmed to make easier access.

Water Troughs. Helen and Mike Gerrish cleaned up the outside of the troughs, removing moss and weeds in April. Algae and silt was also removed, and this is an on going job. The top two troughs have been covered to prevent hedgehogs from falling in and drowning. Thank you to those who made and fitted the covers.

“Wilding”. Following a proposal by Joanne Pattinson, a 15 metre stretch of previously unmown grass behind the three houses opposite the pub was cleared of grass – thanks to Brian Summerscales. Yellow rattle seeds – thanks to Cathy Smith – and wild flower seeds – thanks to Rowan Hastwell – were sown in mid August. Subsequent weather ensured the seeds were well watered in. The yellow rattle restricts the growth of grass allowing the wild flowers to thrive. The area has been marked with tape and signage will be put up to explain the project.

New Trees. We noticed that the trees planted in 2012 at the far end of the field were almost invisible due to the long grass and weeds. A working party of various Committee members, joined by Deborah & Kevin Brockbank, and Claire Hudson, cleared an area of 2ft around each tree, as well as clearing some other areas of the field. The more recently planted trees near the stone bench were also cleared of long grass. Further tasks included mulching round the base of the trees and dead-heading dock plants.

Daffodil planting. Shelagh purchased 125 bulbs for planting. Committee members joined by Pauline English and Shirley Beck planted standard bulbs outside the pinfold, and on the strip from the water troughs towards the Old Vicarage. Natural bulbs (narcissus lobularis) were planted outside the stone seat on the field. Recently purchased augers were used and performed well. A further 100 miniature daffodil bulbs were distributed to the volunteers who look after the planters.

Purchase of Strimmer. A small hand held strimmer was purchased, to supplement the one which is very heavy and requires some strength to operate, ideal for strimming large areas and tough vegetation. The new one can be used by anyone and is fine for strimming around trees and other small jobs.

Grass cutting on the field. A one-off cut of the grass in front of the compost bins down to the “90 trees” notice board, across in front of the mound, and the whole area from the made up path to the small path through the silver birch trees up to the boundary wall, excluding the “wilded” area was carried out by the contractor on 12th October, and has greatly improved the look of the area, as can be seen from the photographs. We are considering to making this an annual cut.

Community Project. There was obviously no Cumbria in Bloom competition in 2020, but the organisers asked villages to submit details of any community projects, which could form part of a virtual exhibition. Shelagh Leyland put together an excellent submission for the stone seat project. We were awarded a recognition certificate. Click here to see the submission.


We had hoped that this year would see things return to normal, but the continued spreading of new variants and high levels of infection meant that we were still restricted.  Consequently once again there was no Forum meeting.   However, since the setting-up of the WhatsApp group there has been plenty of activity, with advice being given on gardening queries. The village bus shelter has become the site of plant and seed exchanges.  We also got some other jobs done.

Snowdrop Planting. The owners of the Old Vicarage kindly allowed us to take some surplus snowdrops from their large stock, and these have been planted in the area next to the compost bins, next to the playground fence. This should make an attractive show next spring.

Hedgehog Watch. Following reports of hedgehogs falling into the troughs and drowning, the existing covering has been extended to a third trough, and a large stone placed on the ledge behind the troughs to prevent the animals going past the third trough. It is unlikely that a hedgehog could climb into any of the other troughs, but we will continue to monitor.

Wild Flower Planting.  We have done more work on the area set aside for a wild flower meadow.   Shelagh purchased 150 yellow rattle plug plants, and several packs of wild flower seeds.   On Friday 16 April Helen, Mike and Shelagh cleared an area of about 15 x 10 metres of grass and weeds.    The following day a working party of all Committee members less Martin, who was having a needle stuck in his arm in Penrith, Pauline English and Dot Bannister, planted all the yellow rattle on the cleared area, and also on the recently planted snowdrop area.    Wild flower seeds were then sown around the yellow rattle plants.  The idea is that the yellow rattle will suppress the regrowth of grass and allow the wild flowers to germinate and grow.   If this is successful we will extend the wild flower area in future years.

Work on the field. On Saturday 12th June, Helen, Mike and Shelagh cleared the young trees of grass, and planted bluebells under the hedge next to the bug hotel.

New Planters
. Bill Ingham, who looks after the planters by the seat near the post box, has kindly replaced both boxes, as they were showing their age.

Seats in the Pinfold. Following a suggestion by a villager, the possibility of placing a seat, or seats in the Pinfold was discussed by the Parish Council. It was suggested by Cathy Smith, that before spending a significant sum on new seats, the seats on the Memorial Field could be moved to the Pinfold so that we could judge how often they are used. John Hastwell generously gave his time to refurbish the seats, and he and Bill Ingham moved them into the pinfold.

Garden Visits. As an alternative to the traditional Open Gardens event, it was decided to hold a series of garden visits. The concept was for volunteers to open their garden for a two hour period and visitors would be able to talk to the owner in detail about the garden. In July three gardens in the Graham’s Rigg/Edenfold area were open. Considering the event clashed with the Mens Final at Wimbledon the turnout was reasonable. For various reasons no other gardens were able to open.

Grass Cutting. In September the contractor was tasked to cut all the grass surrounding the playing field, as was done last year.

Tree maintenance. In October a number volunteers undertook trimming grass and mulching round the young trees on the field. Dock plants were also cut down. Later in the month daffodil bulbs were planted alongside the fence next to the play area.

Committee. Meetings were held during the year. It was decided that the Committee should be renamed “Bolton Gardeners” recognising the fact that Bolton no longer participated in the Cumbria in Bloom competition, and the remit for the Committee had therefore changed. Jo Pattinson left the Committee due to pressures of work, and looking after an allotment she had taken over. She was replaced by Pauline English.


Open Meeting. We had high hopes of having an open meeting in March this year, but on the day, a significant number of people had gone down with the Omicron virus, thanks to a “superspreader” at the Bacon Buttie morning held a few days before, so we postponed the meeting to a couple of weeks earlier. The day dawned and the rain poured down and an icy blast made the rtemperature feel like the Arctic, so on the assumtion that very few people would want to venture out on such an evening, it was cancelled again. We gave up and sent out a round robin about the plans.

Pump Track. The big event in early 2022 was the building of the pump track. This was an initiative to provide an exciting facility for bikers, and was sparked of by a group of parents, now known as the Bolton Friends Association. The work was financed by grants, supplemented by volunteer effort. When the work was completed in March there was a plan to plant trees around the fence line, and have wild flower planting in the ground next to the track. Part of the plan was to erect a gazebo next to the track for spectators. Once built we planted several crab apple trees behind the gazebo. Photographs were taken and submitted to the Queens Platinum Jubilee Green Canopy, a UK-wide project to encourage tree planting. The trees, which were supplied FOC by the Woodland Trust, are now part of the Green Canopy Map. In a few years they will greatly enhance the look of that part of the Memorial Field.

Pinfold.  Committee member Martin Fagan requested permission to plant a couple of fruit trees in the Pinfold, next to the seats, and this was agreed. He duly planted an apple tree and some irises, and will follow this up in due course with another tree grown as an espalier.

Open Gardens.  In July we held an Open Gardens event in aid of the new car park for the Memorial Hall. Seventeen gardens and vehicle displays were on show, and more than 100 people visited some or all of them. The event was held in conjunction with the Bolton Friends Association who held a Scarecrow Festival on the same day. Croft House kindly agreed to provide afternoon teas, and donate the proceeds to the fund. Helen and Mike Gerrish opened a plant stall at their home, which did brisk business. Just over £500 was raised for the car park, an excellent effort.

In the spring Shelagh scattered wild flower seeds around the ground which had been turned over by the pump track construction, and in the summer they all came up, making a spectacular display.

Wilding” Project   In 2020 two parts of the field were set out as wild flower areas. The first was a 15 metre section by the wall separating the houses opposite the pub, and the other was adjacent to the compost bins. The first area was full of grass, and yellow rattle was planted to suppress the growth of the grass, thus allowing the wild flower seeds which were sown to thrive. Last year some limited success was achieved. This year the yellow rattle has spread and should start to work on the grass. This will be a long term project. The other area was not covered in grass but full of nettles. We removed the nettles and sowed some wild flower seeds. These have taken really well and the area looks good. Work in progress!

Bulb Planting. In October we planted over 500 bulbs outside the perimeter of the pump track. These included daffodils, bluebells, snowdrops, wild garlic, winter aconites and wood anemones. We were assisted by members of the reception class from Bolton School, who had great fun planting the bulbs in previously dug holes. It should look well come the spring next year.

Car Park.  As part of the Memorial Hall refurbishment scheme, a new car park has been built. Included in the plan was landscaping the corner abutting Garth View, and Bolton Gardeners have agreed to take this on. The area has been cleared of grass and weeds, and covered with wood chippings to keep the weeds at bay. Martin Fagan, from the Bolton Gardeners Committee, has agreed to lead the landscaping project, which will involve the planting of shrubs, plants and bulbs. The pictures below show progress so far.

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