THE community spirit in Leominster has been praised by Heart of England in Bloom judges who awarded the town a prestigious gold medal this year.

Judges Mark Wiltshire and Jennifer Wharton visited the town in July and, in a report received by volunteers this week, said Leominster looked 'stunning' during their tour.

They said: "Fabulous florals and a huge amount of community spirit and pride, especially from shop owners in Leominster, have made a huge impact."

A special mention was given to sixth form pupils at Westfield School in Leominster who have been working on the restoration of the pavilion on the Grange.

The judges said: "From the restoration of the old pavilion, weeding, grass-cutting, seed sowing to ice cream making, this group have made an enormous difference to this once run-down area. The bloom group and partners can be very proud of this entry and the judges are already looking forward to next year."

News of the gold award was announced by Leominster's town crier, Richard Brookman, as celebrations were held in town.

Chairman of Leominster in Bloom Mike Thornhill offered his sincere thanks to everyone concerned – especially the team of volunteers on the committee.

"Particular thanks go to the local shopkeepers who added so much this year by decorating the town centre with more than two miles of bunting," he said.

"The town council team was a huge support and we are also grateful to all the children who were involved. It just shows what can be achieved when all our partners pull together. A big golden thank you to everyone."