Fifteen hundred hours of hard work by volunteers went into making a South Holland town an award winner.
Long Sutton joined Holbeach and Crowland in being awarded silver gilt in the East Midlands In Bloom competition and the team behind it couldn’t be happier.
Kay Jenkinson, chairman of the Long Sutton group, said: “This is our 25th year and we are really pleased with the result.
“The small town category is one of the largest and we came third overall.
“We are just a 25-strong group of volunteers and were up against places with parks and gardens departments.
“As a town we are really lucky to have the market place which we use as a central feature and then work out from there.
“We are also delighted to have so many shops and businesses displaying our hanging baskets – it makes so much difference.”
The team funds its entry by holding fundraising events and charging cost only for the baskets. The parish council also donates towards the planting in public places and there is a grant from South Holland District Council towards the East Midlands In Bloom entry.
Already thinking about next year, Kay says more volunteers are always welcome.
She said: “We have a poly tunnel with thousands of plants and if you had to water them every day on your own it would be daunting.
“But when there’s five or six of you it’s great fun.”
In Spalding, gold award volunteers are already looking at what they can do better next year to improve on their success.
Jan Whitbourn said: “A very big well done to everyone who worked so hard to achieve this goal. Another amazing year and great to see two of our schools getting something too. Wonderful and well done to them.
“We need some more schools for next year to take part. It’s well worth it – ask the Priory School or Gosberton House, who are so proud of what they achieved.”
Other silver gilt award winners have also been celebrating their awards.
In Holbeach there were 116 hanging baskets around town and a wild flower patch at Carter’s Park to commemorate 100 years since the start of World War I.
Thrilled volunteer Graham Rudkin said: “We gained 18 points on last year which was quite a jump and were only eight from a gold. We weren’t expecting it so we are really looking forward to next year now.”
Crowland has participated in the East Midlands in Bloom competition for 20 years and this is the third year running with silver gilt. Helen Kempton said: “We were extremely pleased to keep the standards up and managed nine more points than last year.”