LEDBURY in Bloom has won an incredible 13 gold medals in a row; but next year it may drop out of the Heart of England in Bloom competition, because of problems which are growing like weeds.

These issues will be discussed at the organisations crunch AGM on November 13, at 7.30pm in the Market Theatre.

Current chairman Clive Gunn, who in September revealed how Ledbury Royal Horticultural Society (RHS) gold this year was only after "a real struggle", told The Reporter: "We have a number of important decisions to make including what to do about the growing weed problem and whether we even have the manpower now to carry on in the same way as we always have and the shape of the new committee. Do we even have a chairman?"

Mr Gunn, who has been battling ill-health this year, was hoping to stand down, but he said: "If no-one else wants to be chairman I may have to consider keeping going for another year rather than risk Ledbury In Bloom folding."

But even with Mr Gunn remaining at the helm, there is a chance that Ledbury in Bloom will take a "gap year" in the annual competition, and take part in another RHS initiative called "It's Your Neighbourhood (IYN)."

But this would bring Ledbury's impressive run of golds to an abrupt close.

Mr Gunn said: "It has been suggested that we might just go with the IYN scheme and not enter In Bloom for a year but this may effect sponsorship which is already finely balanced."

It's Your Neighbourhood is described by the RHS as "a non-competitive scheme for community groups who want to ‘green up’ local areas –adding some colour to your community, making new friends and getting active in your local area."

Mr Gunn, in seeking the way forward for Ledbury in Bloom, is looking for more community support and new faces.

He said: "The volunteers are getting older and the weeds have become a real problem. I tried to set up a Tidy Up Week, but it's planned supporters didn't!

"The weeds are a problem all year not just for Ledbury In Bloom; look at them now!

"People join Ledbury In Bloom for the horticulture not to become road sweepers and weeders. In the last days before judging we should be getting all the beds looking at their best.

"Pulling a few weeds out and tidying up some litter is fine, but not to the scale that they had to this year."

Mr Gunn is to contact Ledbury Town Council and Herefordshire Council to see what extra help could be offered, including the service of the town's lengthsman.