What a blooming great borough!

St Annes Bloom: Centre Phil Morley (Parks Officer), Coun Fabian Wilson, Rob Haigh (Fylde Food Co-operative Manager), Coun Tony Ford, Sarah Tatton (Community Development Officer) with the Parks gardeners.
St Annes Bloom: Centre Phil Morley (Parks Officer), Coun Fabian Wilson, Rob Haigh (Fylde Food Co-operative Manager), Coun Tony Ford, Sarah Tatton (Community Development Officer) with the Parks gardeners.

FYLDE’S civic-minded gardeners came up smelling of roses – sweeping the board at the North West in Bloom Awards.

The prestigious competition is an annual event that aims to encourage communities to improve and care for their local environment.

And green-fingered Fylde folk did the borough proud scooping a record 25 awards – more than any other part of the North West – at a prize-giving ceremony held in Southport Conference Centre.

There were top awards for St Annes and Lytham as best large and small coastal resorts.

Lytham scooped a gold medal for the eighth year in a row and will find out tomorrow if its triumphed in the international Communities In Bloom awards.

There were also gold medals for Freckleton, a silver gilt for Kirkham and bronze for Wesham, while Wrea Green claimed silver in the best large village category.

Coun Sue Fazackerley, cabinet member for Leisure and Culture, said: “Fylde’s gardeners have, once again, done the borough proud and rightly deserve the gratitude of our residents.

“Most of the work and credit belongs to an army of volunteers who raise money and devote thousands of hours to improving their areas. Their work confirms Fylde as one of the most civic-minded places in the North West.

“It is such important work. It is noticed by everyone, not least the visitors to the area who regularly write to the town hall pointing out how their visit was enhanced by the glorious floral displays.

St Annes co-ordinator Coun Fabian Wilson, added: “We are absolutely thrilled. We have come so close to winning the category before so this is a very special achievement and I think the key has been the involvement of the whole community.

“I want to thank the Fylde Borough Council Parks and gardens team, St Annes Town Council, the schools, parks, allotment holders, Friends of St Annes Library and all the people in St. Annes who support the In Bloom initiative.”

Before travelling to Quebec, Jim Leak, chairman of Lytham In Bloom, said: “It has been a very special year - the best ever for Fylde in North West In Bloom – and it would be crowned in style if we can get an award at Communities In Bloom.”

Coun Tommy Threlfall, chairman of Freckleton Parish Council’s Open Spaces Committee, said: “We are delighted – what a year it has been for Freckleton.

Particularly coming so soon after the silver gilt award in Britain In Bloom, this is a very special achievement and thanks to everyone who helped make it happen.”