England

Stockton wins gold Britain in Bloom award

Floral display in Stockton Picture: Fife Council
Image caption Stockton won the city category as well as a gold award

A town on Teesside has won a gold award in the 2011 RHS Britain in Bloom competition.

Stockton repeated its win from 2009 by impressing the judges and receiving the gold award, as well as winning the city category.

Neighbouring towns Darlington and Saltburn-by-the-Sea won silver awards.

Cumbria took three awards, with Grange over Sands and Kirkby Stephen winning silver and Whitehaven being handed a silver gilt.

Grange over Sands also won an RHS Britain in Bloom Commercial Award.

Other winners included Great Whittington and Warkworth in Northumberland, which both took silver gilt awards, as well as Whickham in Gateshead.

'Absolutely raving'

Although Stockton is not officially a city, the categories are judged on population and placed in categories accordingly.

The Mayor of Stockton Paul Baker said: "The judges said they hadn't seen such colour in a high street, they were absolutely raving about it.

"They said the dead walls and hanging baskets were overwhelming."

The awards are decided on three key criteria - horticultural achievement, community participation and environmental responsibility.

The awards were announced at a ceremony which was hosted by BBC TV's Gardeners' World presenter Rachel De Thame and took place in Fife, Scotland.

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