All four Herefordshire entries in the Heart of England in Bloom competition struck Gold when the awards were announced at a ceremony in Burton-on-Trent, a town famous for its beer brewing skills.

The Bloom volunteers from Hereford, Ledbury, Leominster and Burghill were rewarded with the top prize for their flower planting efforts, keeping their communities in good order and combating the litter plague.

Restoring their Gold status after two years reduced to Silver Gilt was a huge success for Hereford in Bloom whose floral displays around the city were the best ever. Chairman Kevin Knipe said: “The down grade by the judges was a result of litter but this year the judging route was litter free thanks to the outstanding work of the new Community Clean-Up group volunteers.

“The heatwave summer ensured the plants grew bigger and better than ever, but it also sent the cost of watering the beds , planters and hanging baskets soaring. We rely on the generous sponsorship of local businesses to pay for the thousands of plants and the support of the City Council to ensure Hereford continues to welcome visitors with a blaze of colourful flowers.”
He added: “Communities in the city and across the county, recognising Herefordshire Council can no longer fund many of its services are taking up the challenge of responsibility for the environment. There is a new sense of Civic Pride and the four Gold awards is evidence of this.”