Golden gong for Woodlesford shows community pride is at an all-time high

Britain in Bloom judges Rae Beckwith (left) and Darren Shape (right) join chairman of Woodlesford in Bloom Jonathan Davis, as they judge the village's flower display. Picture by Jonathan Gawthorpe.
Britain in Bloom judges Rae Beckwith (left) and Darren Shape (right) join chairman of Woodlesford in Bloom Jonathan Davis, as they judge the village's flower display. Picture by Jonathan Gawthorpe.
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Hard-working horticulturists have made sure 2015 is a golden year for Woodlesford by claiming top marks at the Britain in Bloom awards.

Woodlesford in Bloom scooped Gold in the Urban Community category at the Britain in Bloom with the Royal Horticultural Society UK Finals Awards for 2015 last week.

Jonathan Davis and Barbara Smart, from Woodlesford in Bloom, and RHS judge Jon Wheatley at the Britain in Bloom awards.

Jonathan Davis and Barbara Smart, from Woodlesford in Bloom, and RHS judge Jon Wheatley at the Britain in Bloom awards.

Jonathan Davis, chair of the Woodlesford group, explained that the work ethic of the group’s 20 regular volunteers has merited success both for the local area and the county.

Elsewhere in West Yorkshire, Leeds claimed Silver Gilt in the Large City category and Scholes won Silver Gilt in the Large Village section.

“The team effort we’ve put in this year is second to none with the aim of doing Woodlesford, Leeds and Yorkshire proud – and I think we have done that amiably,” Mr Davis said. “The sheer fact that it was the only Gold in our category showed the level we went to, and ultimately the medals you get inspire you to do better.”

He continued: “The overall aim is to make the community a better place to live, work and play.”

Britain in Bloom judges Rae Beckwith (left) and Darren Shape (right), as they judge one of Woodlesford in Bloom's displays at Woodlesford Lock. Picture by Jonathan Gawthorpe.

Britain in Bloom judges Rae Beckwith (left) and Darren Shape (right), as they judge one of Woodlesford in Bloom's displays at Woodlesford Lock. Picture by Jonathan Gawthorpe.

Woodlesford in Bloom’s efforts have seen the south Leeds suburb decorated with five Yorkshire in Bloom Golds, a Silver and a Silver Gilt in recent years, as well as the Britain in Bloom Silver Gilt in 2011.

More than 1,000 in Bloom groups from across Britain were vying for the coveted awards this year, and of those just 70 finalists were chosen to represent their region in the UK finals. In Bloom group volunteers in the UK donate 10.9million hours a year to their communities.

Chairman of the UK judging panel, Roger Burnett, said: “It is an honour to recognise and celebrate the work these amazing people do to build stronger, healthier and happier communities through gardening.”

The awards were dished out at a ceremony in Sunderland hosted by TV presenter and gardening expert James Alexander-Sinclair last week.

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