A HOST of Somerset towns have been honoured in the 2021 South West in Bloom competition.

Among them were Minehead, Taunton and Wellington, who each received awards for their efforts in keeping the towns in colourful shape.

Elsewhere, Glastonbury, Burnham-on-Sea, Weston super Mare, Bleadon, Lympsham, Milbourne Port, Radstock, Keynsham, Yeovil, Portishead, Bath, Cannington and Crewkerne.

The awards were presented to representatives from Somerset West and Taunton’s (SWT) Street Scene and Open Spaces team during a ceremony last month at the Winter Gardens Pavilion in Weston super Mare.

Both Minehead and Wellington received Silver awards in the Sargent and Portman Cups respectively, while Taunton received an extinguished Silver Guilt in the Tesco Cup.

Although competing previously, both Taunton and Wellington have not been nominated for several years, with Minehead making its first entry in almost 20 years.

South West in Bloom is one of 18 regional competitions that make up the RHS’ Britain in Bloom competition, the biggest horticultural campaign in Europe.

The aim of the competition is to improve and regenerate local environments and neighbourhoods through imaginative planting of trees, shrubs, flowers and landscaping; conservation and recycling projects; and sweeping away the eyesores that blight streets, such as litter, graffiti and vandalism.

The regional judging takes place every July and is assessed on three core pillars: horticultural achievement, environmental responsibility and community participation.

Somerset County Gazette: IN BLOOM: Flowers in Glastonbury. PICTURE: Paul Jones
IN BLOOM: Flowers in Glastonbury. PICTURE: Paul Jones

Operational lead for Street Scene and Open Spaces, Darren Hill, said: “Despite a difficult year, balancing the after effects of Covid and an unforgiving and relentless growing season, the entire team has worked exceptionally hard to ensure all our parks and open spaces were kept clean, tidy and well maintained, not only for judging day but throughout the whole season.

“Not only have they been fantastic in achieving this, but there’s been a great demonstration of collaborative working between our volunteers, friends’ groups and town councils across all the entries.

“Well done and thank you to everyone involved for achieving such a great result during what has been logistically, one of the most difficult years ever.”

Portfolio holder for environmental services at SWT, Cllr Andrew Sully, said: “I wish to extend my thanks to everyone for their hard work throughout the year and for supporting Minehead, Taunton and Wellington in this year’s In Bloom awards.

"It was an absolute privilege to show off our fantastic towns, all of which looked their very best on the judging days.

"These are fantastic results and certainly well deserved. Our staff, contractor and especially the volunteers and friends’ groups have put in time and energy over the past, very testing year, and it gives us a tremendous boost to be jointly recognised for appreciating our green spaces.

“Over the past year, we’ve seen just how important our parks and green open spaces are to the wellbeing of our communities.

"Horticulture is only a small part of South West in Bloom – community involvement plays an important role and it’s thanks to the support and involvement of our volunteers and friends’ groups that we’ve managed to achieve success in these awards.”

Burnham on Sea won the Pennant (Town & City North) award, while Portishead won the St Bridget Cup and Bath won the Tesco Cup.

Cannington was awarded a gold standard in the Champion of Champions (<10K) category, along with Glastonbury and Weston, while Glastonbury also picked up the Abbis Cup special award.

The Walled Gardens in Cannington won the Amberol Trophy, while Crewkerne's Severalls Memorial Gardens picked up the Serco Cup.

John Davis, from Crewkerne, was also named among the In Bloom Community Champions.