HUNDREDS of families in a parish on the edge of Taunton have taken part in a sunflower growing competition.

The winners of the contest across West Monkton, Monkton Heathfield and Bathpool were announced in Saturday.

The initiative was part of an eco-partnership between West Monkton Parish Council and Monkton Elm Garden Centre.

Families were supplied with a free planting pack including seeds and pot and over the summer sunflower heads started to tower over fences and garden walls as parishioners of all ages vied to grow the tallest, widest and most creative sunflowers.

The competitions culminated in a prize giving ceremony on Saturday, where Mike Lind and Steve Searle, from Monkton Elm Garden Centre, and Tricia and Norman Cavill, from West Monkton Parish Council, had great delight in awarding trophies and gift vouchers to the winners.

Mr Lind said: “It has been fantastic for our business to be part of this competition and to see the community coming together to help our pollinators this summer, and have some green fingered fun at the same time.”

Cllr Norman Cavill said: “At the close of 2019, we made a Climate and Ecological Emergency declaration, pledging to work towards making the parish more carbon neutral by 2030, with a forward look to a zero-carbon future.

"As a key part of this strategy, earlier this year the parish council launched a Climate Communications Project aimed at sharing information and advice and organising community eco-initiatives, to encourage local actions that are both eco and climate-friendly.

"We are thrilled that the community have enjoyed growing together and are already asking about opportunities to become involved in future local eco-events."