Howsham villagers are celebrating their big win in the Northern Lincolnshire in Bloom judging - and it came in their first year of entering.
Howsham came top in the Best Small Village category as the weather conspired to produce a bumper year for entrants in this year’s competition.
There was also success for Redbourne, several times winner of the Best Kept Village and this year limited to taking part in the Best Past Winner, which to emphasise the continuity of effort, this small community won, together with the Best Planting Award.
If community pride is judged by results then the residents of Howsham and Redbourne and other villages of Northern Lincolnshire are well and truly proud of where they live.
That was the conclusion of the judges, who praised residents for the care and attention lavished on their communities.
“It’s a great credit to the energy and commitment of local residents that they have enhanced where they live to such a high standard,” said David Rose, Chair of CPRE Northern Lincolnshire.
“Each year the standard gets higher as more innovative and imaginative measures are used.
“We are extremely pleased at the efforts put in by local communities and praise them all for their efforts.”
Howsham had plenty of time to celebrate locally as the presentations took place in Howsham Village Hall, newly refurbished during 2013-14.
And Sue Naylor, who took on the role of co-ordinator for the village effort, was delighted at their success: “It’s been a real community effort, everybody worked so hard in what we did.”
Hanging baskets, planters and regular litter picking were the strengths of the entry from Howsham, while the village pond was made to look its best.
“Howsham has never looked better than it did this summer,” added Sue.
David Rose who handed out the trophy and certificate to all the area winners said: “A huge effort went in to making the village look tidy. There were lovely flower displays and a delightful children’s playground and gardens that really impressed the judges.”
Redbourne’s success was largely due to a new policy of sustainable planting, according to Lynn Wainwright and Judy Brown.
The Redbourne group only has a hard core of four volunteers, together with one or two occasional supporters.
“We won our previous section in every year since 2005 bar one and it is a real effort to do so well from a very small group,” said Lynn.