Blooming marvellous! Lancashire takes clutch of Britain in Bloom awards

It is official '“ Lancashire has some of the most beautiful spaces in the country.

Villages across the county are celebrating a clutch of awards in this year’s Britain in Bloom competition.

Freckleton took gold and was category winner in the small town section and Elswick won gold and was joint category winner in the village section.

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The prizes were handed out by the Royal Horticultural Society last night at a ceremony hosted by TV gardening expert Chris Beardshaw.

Roger Burnett, chairman of the UK judging panel, said: “This has been a truly outstanding year for Britain in Bloom with local communities devoting tremendous amounts of time and effort into greening grey areas and sharing the many health and social benefits of horticulture.

“The finalists’ desire and determination to make their environment as green and pleasant as possible was truly humbling.”

Elswhere, Lytham missed out on a second UK Champion of Champions prize after its success at the first attempt in 2013, but took gold as the coastal resort up to 12,000 population representative in the Champion of Champions category.

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The town was one of only six areas from across the UK chosen to compete in the coveted Champion of Champions category.

While it lost out on the ultimate prize to Ahoghill in Northern Ireland, its gold is the highest medal available, and Lytham In Bloom officials feel it confirms the town’s position as arguably the cleanest, greenest and most beautiful small coastal town in Britain.

Lytham In Bloom treasurer David Kerr said: “Lytham in Bloom is honoured and privileged to have been invited to enter the RHS’s prestigious Champion of Champions competition for the second time.

“The publicity surrounding the announcement of our participation in the competition has excited and stimulated the residents and business community of Lytham and the level of involvement and participation in the competition has been, even for Lytham, unparalleled.

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“Thanks to the RHS for ensuring that Lytham remains one of the cleanest, greenest and nicest places to live in the UK.”

Lytham, Freckleton and Elswick were joined by a variety of other Fylde locations, including St Annes, Wrea Green, Kirkham and Ansdell, in taking part in their respective categories in the North West Bloom awards and the results of that competition are due to be announced on October 28.