The Canal & River Trust is calling on people in Milton Keynes to take to the towpath this summer and nominate their favourite flower-filled boats as part of the first-ever national ‘Boats in Bloom’ awards.
Quirky, stunning, eccentric, beautiful and edible: just some of the words to describe the blooming boats on the nation’s waterways. The waterway charity is celebrating green-fingered boaters and waterside gardeners and needs local help to find the most spectacular boats in the Milton Keynes.
Nominations for special prizes – including most edible boat, most flower-filled boat, and most inventive use of space, alongside categories for private and community waterside gardens – will run through to 31 July.
They will be whittled down to a shortlist by a judging panel of boating and gardening experts which will be put up for public vote to determine the nation’s most spectacular blooming boats.
Vicky Martin, at the Canal & River Trust, said: “Take a walk along any of the regions towpaths and you’ll come across a boat or a garden that lifts your spirits with its beautiful blooms. With Boats in Bloom we’re saying thank you to all these gardeners who bring so much pleasure to other people.
“Plants don’t just look pretty – a pot of herbs or a planter full of vegetables can be a sustainable lifestyle choice, while flowers provide food for bees and butterflies. In fact there are all sorts of ways gardens bring benefits for wildlife, even if they’re on the move on the roof of a boat!
Vicky added: “We’d love to see how boaters and waterside gardeners in Milton Keynes are transforming the space around them. If you have a favourite boat or towpath garden, or are especially proud of your own, please let us know. We want Boats in Bloom to raise a smile, give people ideas and maybe inspire them to try a spot of gardening, or boating, themselves.”
The charity’s lock keepers and other staff and volunteers, who look after 2,000 miles of waterways across England and Wales, are also presenting colourful certificates to anyone whose boat or waterside planting is putting a smile on the faces of passers-by.
To find out more about Boats in Bloom visit www.canalrivertrust.org.uk/boatsinbloom