JUDGES from America and Canada have jetted into Halesowen this week as the town seeks to win international honours for its floral displays.

The Halesowen in Bloom team are showing John Lohuis, from Ontario in Canada, and Alex Pearl, from Ohio, USA, around the town from yesterday (Monday) to tomorrow.

They will be taken to the canal at Hawne Basin, Leasowes park, Leasowes walled garden, Halesowen Golf Club and then to the town centre and St John's Church.

Scores of hard-working volunteers have been grafting across the town and a model narrowboat, constructed by Coombeswood Canal Trust, at the bottom of Mucklow Hill, is one of many spots which have been planted up.

Halesowen is up against three Canadian towns – Barrie in Ontario, Coquitlam in British Columbia and Wood Buffalo in Alberta – as well as Lexington in Kentucky, USA, and Szekesfehervar in Hungary.

Eve O’Connor, chairman of Halesowen in Bloom, said: "Halesowen in Bloom has brought people and businesses together.

"We have seen how winning a national award has brought in new visitors and interest in the town and we are very excited to welcome judges from across the Atlantic this week as we go international.

"Hopefully they will see we have a beautiful town that we are all very proud of.

"It's been months and months of planning and hard work, I'd just like to thank the community for their hard work to make Halesowen a better place."

Councillor Karen Shakespeare, cabinet member for environmental services, said: "I am delighted to see that the fantastic work Halesowen in Bloom has done for the town is being recognised on a global stage.

"This success is testament to everyone who has been involved and I would like to wish the volunteers and businesses well as they compete at an international level."

Made up of more than 100 volunteers, the group is going up against other towns across the world in the Communities in Bloom contest, putting the town firmly onto the international stage.

It comes after Halesowen in Bloom received Gold in the Urban Community Category for the Heart of England and subsequently beat five other regional winners to be crowned the national award winners in October 2018.

The communities will be rated from 1 to 5 Blooms and will be able to obtain Bronze, Silver or Gold levels in a 5-Bloom rating.

The national and international results will be announced in Nova Scotia, Canada, from September 25th to September 28th.

While at Hawne Basin the judges will be shown a new model narrowboat which has been built by Coombeswood Canal Trust, which will be installed on Queensway between now and July.