A GREEN-FINGERED group has picked up victories in the region’s biggest floral competition despite the Covid-19 pandemic.

Halstead in Bloom scooped two awards at the Anglia in Bloom Virtual Competition 2020.

The competition is a lockdown version of Anglia in Bloom’s usual contest.

Halstead’s hopes of another record victory this year were in jeopardy after Anglia in Bloom cancelled this year’s awards.

Organisers were unwilling to send judges across East Anglia due to the coronavirus.

However, Anglia in Bloom then announced it would be launching a virtual contest where entrants could submit photos of their best displays in different categories.

In Bloom groups from all over East Anglia submitted their best efforts.

Halstead was the victor in two of the 12 categories.

The Road Runners’ bed near Ramsey Academy and the leisure centre won the award for best sustainable planting while Halstead River Walk won the best conservation project.

The group also hoped to win with their virtual allotment made from plastics at Halstead Hospital.

Halstead in Bloom Secretary Julia Smith said: “We had hoped that we would win the best use of recyclable materials, but that went to a project in Bury St Edmunds, but we are still very proud of our virtual allotment.

“Gosfield also won a couple of the categories, so well done to them too. This is a great advertisement for this part of north Essex and the community spirit that we have here.”

Gosfield in Bloom also picked up two awards in the virtual competition.

They scooped the best woodland and best innovative planted container crowns.

The stunning Bluebell Wood on the outskirts of the village won the best woodland award.

The volunteer group also won for their use of wheelbarrows as planters.

Gosfield in Bloom chairman Mandy Adams said: “With the restrictions this year it was important for Bloom to continue as best it could and the virtual campaign run by Anglia in Bloom allowed us to submit photographs to support entries.

“All of the bloomers have continued to help make our village look gorgeous, working as individuals or couples and then small groups.

“It’s a fantastic group to be part of and great for our mental wellbeing.

“We are really pleased to have won two categories and look forward to 2021’s competition.”

To view the full results of the Anglia in Bloom competition, angliainbloom.co.uk/2020-virtual-campaign-results