MALVERN, Ledbury and Upton have swept the board at this year’s Heart of England in Bloom awards, claiming a total of three gold awards and two overall category wins between them.

Yesterday’s presentation ceremony at All Saints Church, in King’s Heath, Birmingham, saw Ledbury claim its sixth gold award in a row and win the town category for a second successive year.

Volunteer co-ordinator Claire Moore described it as a “fantastic effort” and hailed everyone who contributed to the success.

“Ledbury in Bloom is not just the core group of volunteers but the whole town, from all the groups who help out to our sponsors who give us fantastic support at a time when people really have very little to spare,”

she said.

“We’re delighted with the results. It’s good for Ledbury and gives everyone a bit of a boost.”

Malvern picked up a fourth successive gold award in the highly competitive large towns category.

Delighted Malvern in Bloom chairman John Jordan said: “We’re extremely pleased and my sincere thanks and congratulations go to everyone involved.

“We’re relieved because it was such dreadful weather earlier in the year. Of course it was the same for everybody but you can’t help but worry it will have had an effect.”

Despite downpours when the judges visited in July, Upton kept up its admirable record of claiming gold every year since its first entry back in 2004.

It was also named winner of the large village category for an eighth time. Chairman Jackie Surtees said: “We’re very pleased and our thanks go to everyone who has helped”

There was also success for Bromyard, which picked up a silver-gilt award in the small town category.