South Yorkshire get its just rewards for going green ...

Cactus Leach taking timeout from his duties caring for the Walled Japanese Garden in Meersbrook Park
Cactus Leach taking timeout from his duties caring for the Walled Japanese Garden in Meersbrook Park
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South Yorkshire is blooming lovely... and the county’s got the awards to prove it!

Judges from the Yorkshire In Bloom competition have been roaming the region looking for the prettiest plants, beds filled with flourishing flowers and the most meticulously-mown grass – and now their verdicts for this year have been revealed.

Parks, schools, community allotments, pubs and even shopping centres across Sheffield, Barnsley, Rotherham and Doncaster have scored highly in the contest, with competition chiefs saying all the projects have made a ‘real and lasting difference’.

There were more than 30 winners in total in South Yorkshire, with 17 alone in Sheffield.

Many local schemes were recognised in the It’s Your Neighbourhood category, where entries were given one of five ratings, from ‘establishing’ to ‘outstanding’.

The Meersbrook Park Walled Garden, run by the Meersbrook Park Users Trust, was praised for its Japanese garden, herb patch and fruit trees.

“The group is really a garden-based community centre hosting a wide range of activities and groups within the pleasant setting of the garden,” judges said.

“The task is demanding but the results show the ability of these community gardeners.”

High Green in Bloom was singled out for particular praise.

“The local volunteers of the High Green in Bloom group are to be congratulated on achieving so much since their establishment less than two years ago,” judges said.

“The number of planters established at locations along the Wortley Road and junction with Mortomley Lane is a splendid example of what can be done by committed and enthusiastic volunteers.

Chapeltown in Bloom also picked up a neighbourhood prize, with judges describing villagers’ gardening talents as ‘splendid’, and volunteers at the Firth Park Community Allotment are celebrating too.

Flanderwell Gardening Club in Rotherham is developing well after only running for a year, the committee said, while St George’s Churchyard in Brinsworth was ‘outstanding’.

Holly Hagg in Crosspool – a three-acre site being transformed into a wildlife meadow – is on the list, as is the Revitalising Ecclesfield Park and Pavilion Group. The ‘tranquil, well laid-out’ garden at Woodland View care home in Rotherham was judged outstanding.

Meanwhile, Ecclesfield has been given a Silver Gilt Rose award.

“Ecclesfield is in a charming conservation area with many outstanding historic features,” judges said.

Sheffield Forgemasters picked up a gold rose, with the steelworks’ central garden described as a ‘hidden gem’.

Crystal Peaks Shopping Centre gained a gold rose for its ‘high standard of horticulture’, and Westways Primary in Crookes received a silver gilt rose.w

South Yorkshire’s winners

Villages, communities and towns:

Ecclesfield - silver gilt

Grenoside - silver gilt

Endcliffe and Ranmoor Student Village - silver

Barnsley - gold (pilot for city centre award)

It’s Your Neighbourhood:

Meersbrook Park Walled Garden - thriving

Chapeltown In Bloom - thriving

Firth Park Community Allotment - thriving

Friends of Flanderwell Gardening Club - developing

Friends of St George’s Churchyard, Brinsworth - outstanding

Friends of Westways Primary - developing

High Green In Bloom - developing

St Thomas’s Church Community Garden, Thurlstone - developing

Holly Hagg, Crosspool - thriving

Revitalising Ecclesfield Park and Pavilion - improving

Woodland View Dementia Support Group, Rotherham - outstanding

Young People’s Award:

Darton Primary School, Barnsley - silver

Malin Bridge Primary, Sheffield - silver gilt

Travis St Lawrence CE Primary, Doncaster - gold rose

Westways Wildlife Garden, Crookes, Sheffield - silver gilt

Wilthorpe Primary, Barnsley - bronze

Wisewood Com Primary, Sheffield - gold

Oxspring Primary, Barnsley - silver gilt

Public and Private Charities:

Barnsley Hospice - gold

High Green Methodist Church - gold

St John’s Church, Deepcar - gold

Caravan, Camping and Chalet Parks:

Cannon Hall and Country Park, Barnsley - silver gilt

Elsecar Park and Nature Reserve, Barnsley - gold

Other categories:

Public Houses and Restaurants: University Arms, Sheffield - silver gilt

Universities, Colleges and Further Education establishments: Sheffield University - silver gilt

Businesses: Sheffield Forgemasters - gold

Shopping Centres and Retail Parks: Crystal Peaks - gold