RHS COMMUNITY AWARDS 2024 (Community Champion Awards Pilot by the RHS for 2024)

Please click on the Award titles below for the Award Marking Sheet Critieria. 

RHS Community Engagement Award                   

RHS Gardening with Young People Award           

RHS Gardening for Health & Wellbeing Award     

RHS Sustainable Gardening Award                       

RHS Gardening for Wildlife Award    

Additional information on the RHS Community Awards Pilot for 2024 can also be found by clicking HERE .


South West In Bloom Judges and Assessors, will be on the look out whilst out judging and assessing our region's entries for any groups, projects, individuals, or initiatives they feel should be recognised and nominated for consideration by the South West In Bloom Discretionary Panel for a Special Award. The current list of South West In Bloom Awards are given below, and the Winner of each, is annouced at our annual Awards Presentation held in the Autumn. 

ALF CROUCH MEMORIAL AWARD (For outstanding services to SWIB)

Guidance notes This award to an individual, will be based on information obtained by the judges on judging day. He or she must have contributed, in an outstanding way, over a number of years in improving their competition entry.  The person may head that group, or is one of the committee, and have shown dedication to the South West in Bloom campaign. It will be up to the judges to extract what they can, on how the person has contributed, e.g. fundraising, getting council/voluntary help, awareness, badgering people etc.

ABBISS CUP (For the best horticultural display - Municipal)

Guidance notes This award is for a specifically NAMED Municipal display (for example Rose Park, Jubilee Green, or the Festival Gardens). It may consist of annual/biannual/perennial planting together with trees and shrubs, set in a hard or soft landscape.  It could take a theme of formal bedding, 3 dimensional / carpet bedding or even groups of containers.

Quality of plants, variety of species, and the imaginative use of them, should play an important role in this award.

It should demonstrate the highest level of horticultural excellence.

CITY OF BATH TROPHY (for landscaping)

Guidance notes Open to any entry who demonstrates a good horticultural use of trees and shrubs in a hard or soft landscape setting. This award is for relatively new areas, (not established landscape) for example Botanical, Historical, Zoological, Large Private Gardens, open to the public, or Public Parks.

But new schemes within these areas should be considered. The judges should look for a good selection of species, quality of material, in accordance with the environment they are judging. 

MICHAEL McGAHEY TROPHY (For exceptional community effort)

Guidance notes To be awarded on information given to the judges or what is demonstrated to them on judging day. Awarded for the bringing together of as wide a variety of individual groups as possible, (example WIs, Scouts, Police, Schools. Volunteers, Local Authority’s, Rotary etc) who in some way help their entry in the South West In Bloom competition.

Higher consideration should be given if the groups are met on the judging tour.

BRUFORD CUP (For the best horticultural display – non-Municipal)

Guidance notes The same criteria as for the Abbiss cup, but would involve areas like

caravan parks, village greens, private gardens, community gardens, botanical/zoological gardens.

It should demonstrate the highest level of horticultural excellence.

CLEM PREECE MEMORIAL CUP (For outstanding effort by a School)

Guidance notes The award to be based on what is shown or demonstrated at the school on judging day.

It should take into account, the meeting of staff and pupils, who can show (for example) areas of nature conservation/ wildlife areas, flower and vegetable plots, tubs/hanging baskets, re cycling.

The School may include static displays of items such as drawings/photographs etc, to illustrate to the judges the work the pupils have done.

The age of the children, and what they have achieved, should also be taken into consideration.

SUTTONS SEED CUP (For an outstanding area of Nature conservation)

Guidance notes To be awarded to a nature/wildlife area which houses some of the flora/fauna of the area. It must be well maintained and have good interpretation boards in place. It may have illustrated pamphlets/brochures for the public to learn more of the area’s topography.  It could be managed by a friends group or specialist organisations, like the Wildlife Trust, RSPB, Natural History groups, Conservation societies, or interested volunteers. Planting/habitats as appropriate to the area.  It would be a bonus if “Bloom” members helped in some way to the area, either financially or practically.

LONDON AND MANCHESTER TROPHY (For an outstanding contribution to an environmental initiative)

Guidance notes This may be a one-off small project, or part of a much larger initiative.

The project should in some way involve the “Bloom Group”. It could be for example.

(local composting, recycling initiatives, preservation of local habitats, like woodlands or wetlands. bird/bat/owl box schemes. We are not looking at the large local authority run recycling sites for this award, although they could be judged as part of the main entry.

SOUTH WEST TOURISM SALVER (For the best produced judge’s portfolio – main competition entries only)

Guidance notes The judge’s portfolio is to be given to them on judging day. It can take on any form in respect of layout and content but must not exceed the size laid down by the RHS and advised to entrants. The folder should be no larger than A4 in size and contain only 15 pages, if used on both sides can give them 30 sheets of paper to work on. The portfolio should contain notes/information on the group’s activities, fundraising etc, key projects undertaken, and any other information for the judges to study.   It must include photographs of their Spring displays. 

SARGENT TROPHY (For outstanding effort and dedication from a Main Competition entry)

Guidance notes The award will be for “the Entry” who on judging day came across the best in all areas of the judging criteria.  It will be based on information given, individuals, and groups of people met on the tour.

Enthusiasm and overall commitment of the entry to further the “Bloom” cause.  Publicity and media coverage and a total sense of awareness of the campaign, will play a key role in this award.

GORDON FORD TROPHY  (Best It’s Your Neighbourhood entry)

Guidance notes This award is for the best It’s Your Neighbourhood entry and can be judged as part of the Main Competition or as an individual IYN assessment. This IYN should encompass all three core pillars and should have reached level 5 ‘Outstanding’.

CHAMPION OF CHAMPIONS – Main Competition entries

Guidance notes All 2023 Main Competition Winners will have automatic entry into next year’s 2024 Champion of Champions – Champion of Champions Winners would have demonstrated (by their award) the highest levels of horticultural excellence, in all categories of the marking sheet, floral, landscape, sustainable development, environmental, and public awareness.

SOUTH WEST IN BLOOM YOUTH AWARD (For outstanding work by groups of young people)

Guidance notes To be based on evidence provided for the judges, or the meeting of individual groups on judging day. It could be School children, Sea Cadets, Scouts/Guides, Young People’s Gardening Clubs, Youth Clubs etc.

They must have played an active part in setting up their own project or working alongside members of the entry’s “Bloom Group” to enhance the environment in which they live.

They could have planted and maintained a flower bed /tubs or helped to look after a particular garden. Made posters/ delivered leaflets or picked rubbish, it must demonstrate positive action from the team.

WEST COUNTRY TV CUP (For an outstanding specific project)

Guidance notes This award is for a project completed in the entry’s area, it could contain hard or soft landscaping.  It could be one of the “Blooms” own initiatives or originate from private funding.

It could for example be (a Residential Home site, Fire Station, Public garden, Private garden, or a School).

The area should be judged to be an asset to the entry in future years and have added to the quality of life for the residents/visitors.

THE MONK TROPHY (For the best use of native plants indigenous to the area)

Guidance notes The plantings may form part of nature conservation sites, within parks, gardens, schools etc.  Wildflower meadows have been created and managed by many “Bloom Groups” which would score highly with the judges.

Areas of indigenous trees, shrubs, and native wild flora, which are managed by professional bodies, wildlife trusts etc. must also be considered.

The award should go to what the judges considers has been the best site shown to them by a competition entry, the variety of flora and fauna shown on the day, and its interpretation.

PLANTSCAPE COASTAL TROPHY – (Best seaside entry)

Guidance notes This is awarded to entries with coastal/seaside location, and from the main judging competition.

BUDGE SOCIAL MEDIA TROPHY – (Best social media)

Guidance notes best use of social media to share ideas, thoughts, group’s achievements and information.


Guidance notes - entry should demonstrate how the group as a whole embrace the Bloom initiative, links to the RHS web page, and community groups within their bloom group.  Can include, activities, events competitions, can also include photo albums on bloom group activities. Groups would normally provide information or link to their web page.


Guidance notes  this award is given to the best compost initiative shown by a school.

SHAUN CREGAN TROPHY – (Best floral pub)

Guidance notes  this award is given to the best floral display by a public house and can include pub chain or private/leasehold. Consideration should be given to things such as watering irrigation systems, seasonal/sustainable planting schemes etc.

AMBEROL TROPHY – (Best business floral display)

Guidance notes – this is awarded to best floral display by a business, again consideration should be given to things such as watering irrigation systems, season/sustainable planting schemes etc.

VIC VERRIER CUP – (Best new entry)

Guidance notes – This award is given for the best new entry in the main competition and can include new entrants to the pennant scheme.  Consideration should be given to community involvement and ways in which the entry has addressed the judging criteria.

SERCO CUP – (Best community initiative)

Guidance notes – This award is for best community initiative shown within a main competition.  (IYNs are covered under the Gordon Ford Trophy).

DENISE JAMES ART IN THE LANDSCAPE – (Best intreptation of art in the landscape)

Guidance notes In this the group should demonstrate how their bloom group has used innovative ways of interpreting art as part of their main tour. 

SPONSORS AWARD – (Chosen by the President and Chair of SWIB)

Guidance notes – This blue-ribbon award is given for the most meritorious entry.

URBAN COMMUNITIES – This is awarded to the highest scoring of the pennant entries – Town to City Class.

INCLUSIVE GARDENING AWARD – outstanding example of gardening inclusivity, opportunity and involvement for people who might otherwise be excluded or marginalized, such as those having physical or intellectual disabilities or belonging to other minority groups.

CPRE ENVIRONMENTAL AWARD – outstanding initiative/project working towards a beautiful and thriving environment that enriches all our lives by enhancing/supporting/increasing biodiversity or pollinators or improving soil condition or reducing carbon footprint, or water consumption, or rewilding etc.

* South West In Bloom Discretionary Awards are subject to changes at any time, at the discretion of the SWIB Executive Committee.