Caerphilly town has won first place at the the 2021 Wales in Bloom Awards.
The Caerphilly in Bloom group accepted the award for the city and town centre category at a ceremony in Beaumaris, Anglesey – pipping Penarth to top spot.
Due to the coronavirus pandemic, it was the first time the competition had been held since 2019 – when Caerphilly town scooped first place in the same category.
Funded by Caerphilly Town Council, Caerphilly in Bloom saw the town centre decorated with plant troughs and hanging baskets during the summer months.
Councillor James Fussell, of Caerphilly Town Council, said: “We are very proud to come out on top this year.
“This would not be possible without volunteers, Caerphilly Town Council and Linc Cymru.”
There was also award success for the Morgan Jones Park Community Allotments.
The allotments won gold in the small allotments category and was ranked as ‘outstanding’ in the ‘It’s Your Neighbourhood’ category – the highest ranking.
Elsewhere, Castle View Community Group was ranked as ‘thriving’ – the second highest rank – alongside St Martin’s Gardening Group, which was also ranked as ‘thriving’
Meanwhile, Elizabeth Thomas, secretary of the Morgan Jones Community Allotments, received the Norman Stewart Memorial Prize. The award is given each year to an individual who makes an outstanding contribution to the Wales in Bloom competition, as well as to their local entry.
Mrs Thomas won the award due to her role in transforming the once-overgrown area of Morgan Jones Park into a community allotments with a mini orchard and wildlife plots.
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She was described by award organisers as “a very modest person, who Wales in Bloom feels truly deserves to be honoured and to receive this award after so many years of voluntary involvement”
Mrs Thomas was also described as “an inspiration to all”.
Wales in Bloom Chair Peter Barton-Price said: “This year has been a harrowing year for us all, and our thoughts are with all those affected by the pandemic.
“It was particularly difficult for the volunteers who are so used to gathering together in ‘Bloom groups’.
“Yes, most of the hard work is done outdoors – but the fundraising events, planning meetings and potting shed gatherings have had to be done differently.”
He added: “In spite of all the additional barriers, masks and PPE, we saw some outstanding displays that are enjoyed by participants, locals and visitors – really making wales a beautiful place to work, live and visit.”
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