Norton in Hales in Shropshire was named as the Champion of Champions at the RHS Britain in Bloom Awards 2015, hosted in Sunderland last month [October 2015] by TV gardener James Alexander-Sinclair.

A startling 70 finalists flew the flag for their UK region.

Judges described Norton in Hales as a “beautiful picturesque rural village set in the Heart of England”.

But it was residents’ commitment to green issues that bagged the top gong.

Judges noted the villagers’ recycling network, a project called ‘Ground to Ground,’ which involved coffee granules and bark mulch being transformed into fertiliser and slug repellent.

A spokesman for the judges said of Norton: “They should be extremely proud because
it really is the entire village that won the title of Champion of Champions.

Secretary for Norton in Bloom, Malcolm McDonald, said: “For a small Shropshire village of only 300 people, this is an amazing achievement.

“The results on judging day in August were stunning and comprised not only flowers that had been grown from seed by group members, but also recycled plants.”

This year’s Britain in Bloom involved almost 300,000 volunteers donating a total of 10.9million hours of their time.