Special
Entries

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What is a Special Entry?

A Special Entry is an element of your community, for example a sports ground, the garden of a hotel, a
railway station or an allotment site. If you have somewhere which fits one of the categories, why
not enter?

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What is a Special Entry?

There are 2 ways for you to enter – either as part of a Main Entry or as a Stand Alone Entry.

All of the communities who enter the Main Competition are encouraged to enter Specials, which are judged during the summer judging tour. They must be agreed with your judges beforehand – usually initial ideas are discussed during the spring tour and must be entered online by May 31st. There are 18 categories from which to choose (the full list is below) – you can enter up to 10 Specials in total, but only 1 per category. There is no extra fee for your Specials.

If your community is not entered into the Main Competition, or you are separate from a Main Entry, you can enter as a Stand Alone Special. Not all the categories are available as Stand Alones – the list is available below.  Each Stand Alone Special has an entry fee of £35.00 and the closing date for entries is May 31st. 

All Specials must be entered online using the Special Entry Form, which includes payment details if appropriate.  The marking and judging criteria are the same whether you enter through a Main Entry or you are a Stand Alone Special Entry – more information is available by clicking on the Categories and Marking Criteria button below. 

If you have problems or queries please contact our Entrants Co-ordinator Joanna Wood | joannamfwood@gmail.com

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Stand Alone Special Entry

Special Entry (if you have NOT entered the Main Competition) 

If you are not part of the Main Entry you can enter as a Stand Alone Special Entry. The following is a list of categories open to you: 

Stand Alone Special Entry Categories

1. Business and out of town retail parks
3. Schools
4. Care/Residential/Convalescent Homes, Hospices and Day Centres
5. Religious Establishments
6. Commercial Premises
7. Pubs
8. Hotels and guest houses
9. Conservation Projects
11. Parks
12. Town centre retail areas, and business improvement districts
14. Grounds of Hospitals, Universities and other Public Buildings
15. Sports Grounds
18. Tourist and Visitor Attractions, and Country Estates

A detailed list of the categories and marking criteria can be found by clicking the Categories and Marking Criteria button. You must enter online using the Special Entry Form, which includes payment details.

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Guidance Notes for Main Competition Entrants

An entry for a Special Entry may be considered only if it is situated within an entry in the main competition. If it does not fall within a main entry, then it may instead be suitable for an It’s Your Neighbourhood (IYN) award.

All Special Entries should be agreed with your judges by 31 May, following discussions at the spring visit. Judges may advise than an entry is not suitable or would benefit from additional time to mature.

Entries are limited to one special award per category up to a maximum of ten. There are eighteen categories of entry.

There is no fee for entering a special award, with the exception of business parks. Entries will be assessed during the judges’ visit in July, and will receive their awards at the main NiB presentation which usually takes place in September. Extra time may be added onto the judges’ visit for each
special award where required.

If the proposed entry is within a main NiB entry and falls within a Special Entry category, it would normally be entered as a Special Entry unless the maximum number allowed had been reached. 

In that case, consideration could be given to entering it for an It’s Your Neighbourhood award. If the proposed entry does not fall within one of the Special Entry categories, then it may be eligible for entry as an IYN.

The balance of points emphasises horticultural achievement. There will be three criteria with points out of 50:25:25. Details of the criteria in each category can be found by clicking on the ‘Categories & Criteria‘ button above.

No entry may be put forward for both a special award and an IYN unless a volunteer group has a specific area of responsibility within a wider entry such as a public park.

Bloom groups of Main Entries may not be entered for Special Entries or IYN’s. 

Entrants will need to provide one digital photograph for each Special Entry, in landscape format, for use during the presentation at the Awards Ceremony.

Special Entry Categories for Entries into the Main Competition

1. Business and out of town retail parks

2. Community champion & Young community champion

3. Schools

4. Care/residential/convalescent homes, hospices and day centres

5. Religious establishments

6. a. Small commercial premises

    b. Large commercial premises

7. Pubs

8. Hotels and guest houses

9. Conservation Projects

10.  Bus, metro and railway stations

11.  Parks

12. Town centre retail areas, and Business Improvement Districts

13. Private gardens

14.  Grounds of hospitals, universities and other public buildings

15.  Sports grounds

16.  Residential communities

17.  Allotments

18.  Tourist and visitor attractions, and country estates

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If you have problems or queries please contact our Entrants Co-ordinator Joanna Wood

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