The efforts of green-fingered gardeners from all over the county are being celebrated following the 2018 Cumbria in Bloom awards.

Over 100 entries were received for the popular competition, with categories for schools gardening; It’s Your Neighbourhood; towns; villages; tourism businesses; and other special nominations.

A spokeswoman for Cumbria in Bloom said: “Entries are judged on three broad criteria– local community involvement, environmental benefits, and gardening achievement; and awards are made to recognise overall performance.”

Successful West Cumbrian entrants include Waberthwaite CE Primary, who scooped three winners and three runners-up awards; West Lakes Academy who were awarded two; Aspatria, winners in the best town category; Bootle, who won best in the Copeland borough; and Bothel who won best in Allerdale.

The school’s gardening category was divided into sections, with West Lakes Academy winning edible gardening; Derwent Vale Primary and Nursery School winning decorative features; and Waberthwaite CE Primary being awarded the sensory/quiet garden category, with Ashfield Nursery & Infant School as runners up.

Tess Bleasdale, garden coordinator at West Lakes Academy, said: “I’m absolutely thrilled to bits, and so are the students, that all the hard work over the last 12 months has paid off with such a great award.”

Waberthwaite CE Primary and West Lakes Academy were both runners up in the enriching and widening the curriculum category, each receiving £25.

Thomlinson Junior school in Wigton was runner-up in the container garden section.

Waberthwaite also won best school garden overall, getting £100 and Greening Grey Britain for Wildlife special award, which gave them £50. They were runners up in the edible gardening and container garden sections too.

Teacher Hannah Ward set up the garden at Waberthwaite CE Primary School three years ago, and says that it has instilled enthusiasm throughout the whole school and wider community.

She said: “We’ve made the school look appealing from the road and when people drive past we get some lovely comments.

“Staff enhance the curriculum by taking the children outside when possible which makes lessons exciting. It also encourages children to care for their surroundings.

“We have entered Cumbria in Bloom for the last two years, but this year is the icing on the cake as we did exceptionally well this year.”

“We want to share our outstanding achievements with the great many people who have supported Waberthwaite School gardening and enabled us to achieve such great results.”

Allerdale trophy for best in borough went to Bothel and the shield for best in Copeland went to Bootle.

Norman Brayton, of Bothel Gardening Club, said of his delight at retaining last year’s title and the several awards achieved by Bothel residents. He said: “We are delighted. It is a community involvement spearheaded by Bothel Gardening Club. Everyone does a little extra. A lot of hard work has gone in as we also entered Britain in Bloom this year. The results for that will be announced after October 19, so we’re keeping our fingers crossed.”

Best small town was won by Aspatria, whose mayor Barry Chambers said: “We are ecstatic, over the moon. The council has worked hard over the past two or three years and has invested a lot in Cumbria in Bloom. The most exciting aspect this year has has been the work that has been done in partnership with the community including schools, friends of the railway station, Sealy Beds and Aspatria dairy.”

Bothel Parks Farm, Wigton, won best commercial/industrial premises and Calderwood House, Egremont, won the best residential home category.

Continental landscapes trophy was won by Millstones Old Farmhouse, Bootle, where Captain Shaw’s School Boat and Book Box took the best project/effort by youngsters award.

CIB Pride In Your Community Medal Awards were presented. Gold awards went to Aspatria, Bootle and Bothel. A silver gilt award was won by Egremont and silver was awarded to Workington and Seaton. Maryport received a bronze award.

RHS It’s Your Neighbourhood Award: The ‘Improving’ category was won by Bootle in Bloom church grounds. Thriving was awarded to Bookwell School, castle grounds, Calderwood allotments all in Egremont; the town’s fire station and Egremont Youth Partnership; Friends of Workington Railway Station; Senhouse Roman Museum Gardening Volunteers; South Workington Youth Partnership. Outstanding was awarded to Bothel in Bloom Village Hall; Egremont Bowling Green; Egremont Cemetery Jubilee Garden; Ewanrigg & Netherton Tenants & Residents Association; Friends of Harrington Nature Reserve; Friends of Keswick Park and Solway Court Community Garden Group.

In the CIB tourism awards, gold was won by Castlerigg Hall caravan and camp park. Silver gilt was awarded to Galloping Horse Inn, The Trout Hotel, The Sun Inn and Egremont Town Bowling Green. Silver went to the Royal Oak.

Schools gardening certificates: Outstanding was achieved by Ashfield Nursery & Infant; Derwent Vale Primary & Nursery; Thomlinson Junior School; Waberthwaite CE Primary and West Lakes Academy. Thriving was won by Threlkeld Primary; St Michael’s CE Primary, Bothel, and Captain Shaw’s CE Primary.