FIVE of Wiltshire’s market towns are celebrating winning Gold Awards in this year’s South West in Bloom competition.

Bradford on Avon, Calne, Chippenham, Marlborough and Melksham all struck gold in the regional awards presented in a ceremony in the Winter Gardens Pavilion, Weston-super-Mare, on Thursday.

Chippenham won Gold in the City Centre Award, while Marlborough won the SWTA Cup and a Gold award and Calne took a Gold award but failed to win the Portman Cup for its category.

Bradford on Avon took a Gold award and won the Preece Cup, while Melksham also won a Gold award.

Cllr Sarah Gibson, mayor of Bradford on Avon, praised the work of volunteers, saying: "I would like to say thank you to everyone who has worked so hard for this because it is really quite an achievement.

"We have all sorts of issues in the town and it is not easy to make it look incredibly beautiful all the time."

"It is really impressive that we have managed it and it is really nice that lots of these places are businesses and specific places in the town."

Melksham's mayor, Cllr Jon Hubbard, said: "Congratulations to all the South West in Bloom team for winning Melksham yet another Gold this year.

"What an amazing job this fantastic group of volunteers do for our town - a heartfelt thank you to them, and to the marvellous Amenities Team from the Town Council who have all worked so hard to make this happen again.

"Great job, great team, great town!"

The Bear public house in Melksham came third in the Shaun Cregan Trophy, while Jo’s Upcycled Garden in Melksham won the Gordon Ford Trophy for the best garden in the In Your Neighbourhood category.

In the business awards, the Blenheim House care home on the Bath Road in Melksham also won Gold.

South West in Bloom is one of 18 regional/national competitions that make up Britain in Bloom, the biggest horticultural campaign in Europe.

The aim of the communities that take part each year is to improve and regenerate local environments, through the imaginative planting of trees, shrubs, flowers and landscaping, conservation and recycling projects.

In Your Neighbourhood awards went to:

Bradford on Avon: Railway Station Garden (Level 3 Advancing); The Three Horses Pub (Level 5 Outstanding); Wiltshire Heights (Level 4 Thriving); Secret Garden (Level 4 Thriving).

Calne: Holy Trinity Churchyard (Level 5 Outstanding); Castlefields Canal & River Park (Level 5 Outstanding); Calne Bowls Club (Level 4 Thriving); Pocket Park & Community Garden (Level 5 Outstanding); Clean up Crew (Level 4 Thriving); River Warriors (Level 5 Outstanding).

Chippenham: The Ivy Wildlife Garden (Level 5 Outstanding).

Cricklade: Cricklade Bloomers (Level 5 Outstanding).

Downton: Downton Village (Level 3 Advancing).

Marlborough: The Merchant’s House Garden (Level 5 Outstanding); Stonebridge Wild River Reserve (Level 5 Outstanding); The Waterfront Garden at Kennet Place (Level 5 Outstanding); Preshute School Project (Level 3 Advancing); Marlborough District Housing Association Community Garden (Level 4 Thriving); 1st Marlborough Brownies (Level 1 Establishing); The Friends of the Old Victorian Cemetery (Level 4 Thriving); Wye House Gardens & Wye House Residents (Level 2 Improving); St John’s Close Residents Association (Level 5 Outstanding);

Savernake View Care Home (Level 2 Improving); Plume of Feathers Lane Garden (Level 2 Improving); Transition Marlborough (Level 4 Thriving); Kingsbury Square (Level 4 Thriving); Highfield Residential Home (Level 2 Improving); St Peter’s Churchyard (Level 5 Outstanding); Coopers Meadow (Level 4 Thriving).

Melksham: Jo’s Upcycled Flower Garden (Level 5 Outstanding); The Conigre Mead Nature Reserve (Level 5 Outstanding); Woodcombe Street Community (Level 4 Thriving); Church Walkers (Level 5 Outstanding); Riverside Walk Restoration (Level 4 Thriving); The Friends Garden (Level 5 Outstanding); Blooming Corner (Level 4 Thriving).

Swindon: Garden Club Tadpole Garden Village (Level 5 Outstanding); Mr Cod Landscaping (Level 3 Advancing); The Marriot Bed (Level 4 Thriving); The Railway Embankment Avenue Of Trees (Level 3 Advancing); Friends of Swindon Museum and Art Gallery (Level 3 Advancing); Station Approach Garden (Level 4 Thriving).

Trowbridge: Gloucester Road Allotment Site (Level 5 Outstanding); Gloucester Road Allotment Community Plot (Level 5 Outstanding); Trowbridge Community Sensory Garden (Level 5 Outstanding).