TOWNS and villages across Essex have been commended for having the most flower power in the Anglia region.

Evergreen volunteers from Halstead ensured the town struck gold again and there were also top slots for Frinton and Gosfield.

The annual Anglia in Bloom awards see judges assessing parks, cemeteries and gardens across the region.

This year’s prestigious awards ceremony was held yesterday with Bloom teams attending from Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire, Essex, Hertfordshire, Norfolk and Suffolk.

In the village category Gosfield won a gold award and Weeley won a silver gilt award.

Frinton scooped the top prize for the small town category and Coggeshall won silver.

Frinton also won gold in the small parks category.

Halstead came out on top for the overall winner in the town category and Halstead Public Gardens also scooped the gold award in the parks category.

A third award was given for the cemeteries category with Halstead receiving a silver gilt.

A gold award was also given to the Halstead team in the care home category, for Priory Hall.

Victory is not uncommon for the Halstead team which has claimed gold for 11 consecutive years.

Margaret Eskins, who chairs the team, said it was another brilliant result.

She said: “We are delighted. We got various awards but the best one was the town category where we got gold again for the eleventh year running.

“We had 30 volunteers who came on the coach to the awards with us, but we also have people who fundraise and litter pickers who clear up their roads.

“We are so fortunate to have such a community-spirited town.”

The Colchester team did not enter this year’s awards due to a lack of volunteers.

Pam Schomberg, who chairs the group, said it was a great shame as they had won many awards in the past.

She said: “I have just come across 11 certificates and five trophies so we used to do very well.

“It is an awful lot of work, it’s just not possible without a lot of support.”

Colchester in Bloom will host its internal awards ceremony on October 10. Pam said there are many gardens across the town worthy of winning.

Brian Thornton, president of Anglia in Bloom, said: “Each year we see more gold awards presented. The key to a successful campaign is communities working together, improving and making their neighbourhoods a better place to live, work and visit.

“We don’t know what 2020 has in store for us but what we do know is a successful organisation is one that doesn’t let the grass grow under its feet.

“We pride ourselves in the fact we are progressive and listen to all who participate in our campaign.”