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Ask council to plant a tree on your street to fight pollution, says Royal Horticultural Society

Ask your local council to plant a tree on your street, the Royal Horticultural Society (RHS) has said, as it announces the majority of the Britain in Bloom finalists are in urban areas.

In the competition’s 56th year, rather than simply being judged on the beauty of the flowers planted, town centres won points for increasing the number of trees to help mitigate urban pollution, flooding and temperature rises and boost footfall and lower vacancy rates.    

Each place will be visited by a pair of RHS judges in August as they vie for a medal, a category win and to be named Champion of Champions.

Of the 70 finalists, nearly two-thirds 63 per cent are greening urban areas with a surge in entries using plants to help regenerate the high street. This includes the Business Improvement Districts (BIDs), Town and City Centres category which has seen a surge in entries since it was introduced two years ago.

Leeds, Blackburn and Paddington, London, are among the ten finalists that will be “greening” central shopping and business hubs. 

Horticulturalists have asked British people to take inspiration from this and brighten up their own streets with flowers and trees.

Kay Clark, RHS Community Development Manager said: “If you’re keen to brighten up your own street, try starting off small by growing climbers up your fence or wall, adding a few colourful pots and planters around your front door or scattering a wildflower seed bomb on an unused patch of ground. By greening your local environment you can make a big difference to wildlife and wellbeing, as well as helping to mitigate flood risk and capture pollution.

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