Town not pretty enough

Fielding beat Cambridge for the title of most beautiful large town at the NZ Beautiful Awards. Photo – Michael Jeans.

Cambridge’s beauty and excellence was not recognised at the Keep New Zealand Beautiful awards on Friday night, Fielding instead took the title as the country’s most beautiful large town for the 16th time.

It was Cambridge’s first attempt at entering the awards this year, and Josh Easby, the Cambridge local who nominated our town with the help of Michael Jeans and others, said it’s simply a chance to better our entry next year.

“The judging criteria cover a wide range of topics about how communities work to beautify their towns – everything from reducing waste and coping with litter or graffiti, to community-led projects that create a pleasant environment for residents and visitors,” he said. “It’s not just about the visual beauty of a town.

“We found good examples this year – the Trees Trust and the Community Gardens, for instance – but we know there are others doing great things and we need to share their stories as well.”

Easby said the experience of putting together Cambridge’s entry highlighted ways that volunteer groups can show they are working to beautify the town, to help with next year’s entry. He said he’s keen to contact local groups ahead of the next round.

Josh Easby (left) enlisted the help of Michael Jeans (right) to put together Cambridge’s entry.

In announcing the winning town, Judges described Fielding as a place where people are “met with red-bricked pavements and streets, stunning flower beds, and a warm elegance… walking into shops you are met with a friendly smile, and kind hospitality”.

One might say it sounds like a description of Cambridge – the two towns even boast similar clock towers in the CBD. But winning towns and cities are not allowed to enter the awards the following year, so with Feilding out of contention next year, Cambridge will get an even better chance to lay claim to the award.

“The calibre of entries for the 2017 Beautiful Awards was very high, which made judging extremely difficult!” said one of the judges, Heather Saunderson. “With regards to the Most Beautiful Large Town Award, our 3 finalists were all worthy winners… Cambridge’s entry was very strong, which was great to see and we strongly encourage the passionate community to keep up all of their great work. And, who knows what the 2018 Beautiful Awards may bring!”

“The awards are an excellent way of encouraging communities to take pride in their towns and while we were delighted to make the finals this year, let’s keep trying to do the best we can every year,” Easby said.

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