A BLOOMING good day was had in Upton when judges from Heart of England in Bloom came to town.

Organisers hope their flower displays will impress the judges and lead to nomination for next year's Britain in Bloom.

Jackie Surtees, chairman of Upton in Bloom, said: “I think it went very well. The judges seemed very interested and engaged. When one of the judges saw the flower barrels she said ‘wow’.

“People say to me they come to Upton to see the flowers and it’s so nice when you walk on the river front and people say how lovely the flowers are.”

Despite a rainy start, the Upton in Bloom committee members and volunteers remained upbeat about their chances.

Robin Russell, one of the two Heart of England in Bloom judges, said he was impressed by the community involvement in Upton.

“Everybody has taken part and as we’ve gone round the weather has dried up and it’s improved,” he said.

Mr Russell said Upton would know the results of the contest in September as they still had other counties to judge.

Tim Dance, the mayor of Upton, said: “Jackie and the team did a fantastic job and I appreciate the work, as do most people in the town.

“I gets lots of comment from people when I tell them I’m from Upton, they always say the town looks nice.”

Brian Williams, from Cornerways Nursery in Twyning, said: “Upton survives on tourism and gardening is a part of that, it keeps people coming back. It’s good for the whole community.”

Mr Williams grows and supplies nearly all of the flowers displayed in the town and helps Ms Surtees with flower colour schemes.

Sue King, an Upton in Bloom committee member, said: “Some of the committee were out at six this morning, checking the streets for cigarette ends and litter. It’s quite strict.

“It makes people feel proud about their town. People complement and say it looks lovely and that gives you a boost.”

Chris O’Donnell, deputy chairman of Malvern Hills District Council, said: “I think today is wonderful for the town and the flowers are beautiful. It’s a shame that it’s rained like this.

“It’s also a shame the children from Upton-upon-Severn Primary School aren’t here as they normally stand on the bank.”

The judges also inspected the new Upton in Bloom watering van which uses solar panels to charge water pump batteries.

The results will be based on three criteria; horticultural achievement, community participation and environmental responsibility.

The town received a gold award last year and is the only finalist from Worcestershire, in this year’s Britain in Bloom contest.

Upton needs to receive a mark of 85% or over to retain its gold status.

The Heart of England in Bloom covers the Midlands and forms one of 17 regions from which the Britain in Bloom finalists are selected.

Both contests are run by the Royal Horticultural Society.