12 °CMon, 22

The Bloom Brigade!

Dessie Blackadder

Reporter:

Dessie Blackadder

THE volunteers from Ahoghill in Bloom have had a very busy summer season so far.

With the exceptionally dry weather proving an immense challenge the team have worked hard to keep all of the baskets and planters well watered.

Despite the drought the plants are looking magnificent and will hopefully remain in full bloom for some time yet.

Meanwhile, those who have visited the village recently will have noticed a few new features which have been developed this year. A further feature is planned in the near future  thanks to the efforts of the Ahoghill Young Farmers' Club.

James Perry from Ahoghill in Bloom said the whole community has been supporting this year's environmental improvement programme.

He said this was demonstrated by the fact that a recent street collection raised the magnificent sum of £2040 - the generosity of all of those who contributed is much appreciated.

James added: “Although the village is entered for a number of competitions this year the efforts of the volunteers are not primarily directed towards gaining success in such events - rather, the primary aim is to improve the environment for local residents and to ensure that Ahoghill continues to be an attractive place to live in and to visit.”

He went on to say that everyone in the village was also excited about plans by Mid and East Antrim Council to redevelop the main central Diamond area of Ahoghill.

The scheme is part of the Council's Village Renewal Programme which is jointly funded by DAERA.

Council proposes to create an enhanced feature right in the heart of the village. As well as new raised planting features, tree planting and  new paving  there will be new seating and the central feature will be a new civic pillar chiming clock.

James said: “Work is expected to start in the autumn and it is hoped to complete the work before Christmas. This initiative will help to further enhance this important focal point and will hopefully encourage visitors to stop and explore the village further.”

Council is also continuing to seek funding opportunities which will see further work undertaken at the site of the planned new civic park adjacent to the Community Centre.

A successful 'community plant out' has already taken place and there are exciting plans for the development of this area.

Clearly, the success of the Ahoghill in Bloom environmental improvement programme continues to go from strength to strength.

The ongoing support from local residents, businesses and village organisations will hopefully allow the volunteers to continue to contribute towards the successful development of the village.

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