A VALE of Clwyd town has been voted the best in Wales by the judges of a prestigious Royal Horticultural Society competition.

Volunteers from Denbigh in Bloom dedicated nearly a year to planting floral displays on the town’s high street and roundabouts while they repainted no fewer than 78 bollards.

This year marked the first time the group competed in Wales in Bloom, the national campaign which celebrates volunteer horticultural groups that improve their communities.

More than 100 entries were made this year however it was Denbigh that claimed top spot in the Towns in Wales category. The judges inspected a set route that included the High Street, Temple Gardens and two roundabouts in July and, according to the criteria of horticulture, community involvement and environmental care, they also gave the town a Gold Award.

Communities that win the top awards often get a boost in tourism due to the high profile of the competition among horticultural enthusiasts.

Lyndsey Tasker established Denbigh in Bloom in 2016 with the aim to improve the town because she felt “disheartened” that areas were not being looked after.

Mrs Tasker, who owns Carpet Emporium on Denbigh high street, said: “We started the group because we wanted to make a difference. Denbigh is a beautiful town with so much history, but it was becoming shabby and run-down.

“There has been a lot of planning and hard-work since November and the we have not seen community spirit like it with residents and businesses wanting to get involved.”

Among the group’s initiatives were its ‘Pots for Shops’ campaign which handed out 56 planted flowerpots to shops along the route.

It also planted a disused telephone box full of shrubs and carried out gardening projects with primary schools in Denbigh, Brownies club, residents at Plas Eleri Care Home and Denbigh Men’s Shed. Its flower displays were designed by Green Fingers owner Graham Pickles.

“Now we can hardly walk down the high street without receiving comments about how wonderful the town looks,” Mrs Tasker added. “The volunteers have made such a difference and hopefully more visitors and business owners will be attracted to the town.”

Other categories in Wales in Bloom included large towns, villages, coastal communities, schools and care homes.

Peter Barton-Price, chair of Wales in Bloom, said that “Wales is a winner” of the competition.

“We have seen a rise in entries across classes with over 100 entries making a huge contribution to our towns and villages,” he said.

“While I was on the judging trail, on entrant told me ‘when lots of people do small things, Big things happen’ and each and every one of you are making communities grow.

“Above all being part of the Bloom family and making Wales more beautiful each year is the biggest reward.”