What the Judges are looking for

‘It’s Your Neighbourhood’ Entries

The RHS It’s Your Neighbourhood (IYN) campaign supports community groups in cleaning up and greening up their immediate local environment – whether that’s the street they live in, or a small patch of communal land needing a revamp.

More than 1,600 groups already take part around the UK of which there are more than 500 entries in the South West!

Exeter Awards at Guildhall event, Lord Mayor with St David's Primary School
Exeter Awards at Guildhall event, Lord Mayor with St David’s Primary School 2016

This year Exeter has 27 IYN entries and we hope that by next year there will be many more enjoying this wonderful free scheme.  It’s free to join and each group receives an annual visit from an IYN Assessor who meets the group, is shown the project, and then provides feedback on how further improvements can be made.  And each entry received a Certificate of Achievement according to their level of achievement (graded 1 – 5).

Exeter Awards at Regional Event
Exeter Awards at Regional Event 2016

What is the Assessor looking for?

There are 3 core pillars and the Assessment Scoring is:  Community Participation (40%);  Environmental Responsibility (30%);  and Gardening Achievement (30%).

Community Recycling at Arena Park
Community Recycling at Arena Park

Any group can join as long as it is volunteer led and involved in hands-on community gardening. The group should be working with the local community for the benefit of the community.  For 2019 entries, go to SW in Bloom Website for online entries – the closing date is usually early March.

Why take part?

Those taking part report cleaner, greener and safer surroundings; a growing sense of community pride; increased rates of local recycling and environmental awareness, and a reduction in anti-social behaviour with the regeneration of run-down areas.

What kinds of things do IYN groups do?

Friends Group take over Small Park in Exeter
Friends Group take over Small Park in Exeter

The projects groups do depend entirely on their local area, but examples include:

  • Restoring a churchyard
  • Taking over the improvement and maintenance of green spaces on an estate
  • Transforming a bleak residential back alley into a community garden
  • Adopting a square, roundabout or neglected space and renovating it
  • Redeveloping all the front gardens on (part of) a street using any number of schemes, for example hanging baskets or window boxes for growing herbs
  • Forming a Friends group to look after a local park
  • Uniting local retailers to transform the high street


Here are the: RHS Judging Guidelines.