Village wins best in Britain garden award

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A small Fylde coast village celebrated its most outstanding achievement in its history thanks to its green-fingered community.

Elswick was awarded the top Royal Horticultural Society Champion of Champions award in Britain in Bloom competition, beating 1,600 other communities, including Harrogate, Aberdeen and St Peters Port.

Paul Hayhurst, Chairman of Elswick Parish Council and Elswick in Bloom co-ordinator, said, “This is a real David and Goliath story. Most of the other entries in Britain in Bloom are professional entries put together or supported by council parks departments. In Elswick we have had to do it the hard way, as we received no help or support from our Borough Council. This result is entirely down to the hard work of volunteers in Elswick who have transformed our village.”

The coveted ‘Champion of Champions’ title recognises Elswick as one of the cleanest, greenest places in Britain in 2017.

Some 50 volunteers created a community orchard complete with fruit trees, bee hives, flowers, bird boxes and bug habitats for the competition. Coun Hayhurst said: “Now after 22 years we’re officially the best in Britain. It’s a real rags to riches story.”

Roger Burnett, chairman of the RHS Britain in Bloom judges, said: “The group’s entry was fantastic, very well thought through and of the highest standard. To be awarded Champion of Champions is a tremendous achievement. Elswick in Bloom’s many volunteers should be applauded for how they’ve turned the village round into somewhere that is clean, green, beautiful and a source of pride for the whole community.”