Wiltshire

Cricklade named RHS Britain in Bloom 'champion'

A Wiltshire town has won top prize and been named "Champion of Champions" at a prestigious Royal Horticultural Society awards ceremony.

Cricklade beat 76 other finalists to the title at the 2011 Britain in Bloom Awards, held in Fife, Scotland.

David Tetlow, chairman of the town council, said: "Cricklade has shown what can be achieved by a small town with a big community at its heart."

RHS Britain in Bloom has helped more than 2,100 communities around the UK.

A record 20 Gold medals, 36 Silver-Gilts, 19 Silvers and 1 Bronze were awarded to the finalists at the awards on Sunday night.

'Real tribute'

The chair of Cricklade Bloomers, Anita Barratt, said: "Cricklade has achieved so much through the RHS Britain in Bloom competition - it gives us a real focus on working together to make lasting improvements to the town.

"Now, to have this recognised and win the title of Champion of Champions 2011 is a real tribute to the efforts put in by local people, all with a real passion for making the town a wonderful place to live in and visit."

According to the RHS, about 200,000 volunteers from across the UK have collectively invested 4.4 million hours of their time in the Britain in Bloom campaign.

The judges, who visited all the finalists in August, said Cricklade's community garden was a "real joy" and praised the town's ability to bring heritage - both built and natural - to the fore.

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