A Herefordshire town is having to take down its hanging baskets early this year as it lacks the staff to maintain them.

Ledbury Town Council has said that, due to staff shortages from sickness absence and annual leave, it “has not been able to provide adequate cover for watering the hanging baskets in the town this year”.

It is understood that a council employee chiefly responsible for looking after the baskets, a prominent feature of the town centre from spring to autumn, is now on long-term leave due to illness.


The hanging baskets are being taken down this morning (August 24), a month earlier than usual, “due to them not being as attractive as in past years”, the council said.

“This is not a decision that has been taken lightly and we have tried to find alternative assistance but unfortunately to no avail,” it added.

“We would like to reassure residents and visitors alike that adequate provision for this will be in place for next year’s hanging baskets.”


Ledbury has a strong track record on its streetscapes, taking gold in RHS Heart of England in Bloom awards scheme 15 years in a row up to last year.

But ill-health had already forced the Ledbury in Bloom group to take a year out from the awards this year, its chair Christina Vass explained.

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“It’s unfortunate, but the town will be back next year,” she said.

Backing the town council’s decision, she said: “It’s better the hanging baskets come down than look bedraggled.”

The baskets require special equipment to maintain – “not just a watering can” – unlike the planted tubs in the town which volunteers and tradespeople have continued to look after, Ms Vass added.