A city which is simply blooming marvellous!

Danny McCartney, Derry City and Strabane District Council Ground Maintenance manager, celebrates after receiving the gold award from Jon Wheatley, RHS Council member. INLS 44-750-CON

Danny McCartney, Derry City and Strabane District Council Ground Maintenance manager, celebrates after receiving the gold award from Jon Wheatley, RHS Council member. INLS 44-750-CON

Londonderry scooped a Gold award in the Small City category at the prestigious Royal Horticultural Society (RHS) Britain in Bloom UK Finals Awards Ceremony in Birmingham at the weekend.

The event, hosted by TV Gardening Expert, Chris Beardshaw is one of the highlights of the Horticultural Society’s year.

Londonderry, which represented the Ulster region, was one of only seven areas from across the UK chosen to compete in the Small City category of the awards.

The honour, which is the highest available, confirms Londonderry’s position as one of the greenest and most beautiful small cities in the United Kingdom.

Danny McCartney from Derry City and Strabane District Council said: “We are delighted our City and District has scooped this prestigious award. We are extremely proud to receive this award on behalf of everyone in Derry and Strabane.

“A lot of effort is put in by Council staff who pull out the stops with inspirational floral displays and beautiful parks to make it a place we are proud to live and work. This award not only recognises the dedication and creativity of our Council’s Grounds Maintenance and Cleansing teams, but also the contribution made by local business, schools and community organisations to improve the lives of residents, workers and visitors to our city.”

The RHS Britain in Bloom Awards ceremony celebrates the huge contribution made by the 300,000 Bloom vounteers whose hard work and dedication help transform what are often grey and unloved areas into greener, cleaner and more beautiful spaces for everyone to enjoy.

Over the summer, teams of RHS judges travelled the length and breadth of the country to see the 72 finalists’ Bloom campaigns to determine who would lift the top prizes. Each finalist was assessed against three key criteria: community participation, environmental responsibility and of course, horticultural achievement.

Chairman of the UK Judging Panel, Roger Burnett said: “We as judges are privileged to have a front row seat to see Britain in Bloom volunteers change the lives of thousands through their work. And it’s fitting that their efforts are recognised and celebrated.”