JUDGES have commended a town for bouncing back after devastating floods in a prestigious horticultural awards.

Upton won the Royal Horticultural Society's first ever award for overcoming adversity in recognition of the town's resilience.

It also received the Silver Gilt award in the large village category at the Britain in Bloom finals and chairman Jackie Surtees received a community champion award.

The town was bestowed with the award, which is the second highest one available, at a ceremony in Birmingham on Friday, October 14.

Jackie Surtees, chairman of Upton in Bloom, said: "We are very excited about our success in RHS Britain in Bloom.

"We get great satisfaction from all the work we do - we know it is appreciated by both residents of and visitors to Upton-upon-Severn, and the award is the icing on the cake!

"The preparation for both the regional and UK Britain in Bloom finals was carried out with co-operation from local authorities and all others involved."

Upton in Bloom volunteers meet weekly to carry out hours of work at various sites around the town.

Ms Surtees, who received the community champion award at the ceremony, for her hard work in organising Upton in Bloom.

"I had no idea about my award but the others did!," she said.

Upton sealed its reputation as a beautiful town at the awards, where it represented the Heart of England region.

Tim Dance, the mayor of Upton, congratulated Jackie Surtees on her award and thanked her for all the hard work.

"It's nice to see Upton in Bloom doing so well again. The town really does appreciate what Jackie does," he said.

And judges awarded the town its first RHS Britain in Bloom Award for Overcoming Adversity, recognising the group's efforts in coming up with an award-winning entry.

Some 300,000 volunteers take part in Britain in Bloom, transforming neglected areas into brighter spaces for people to enjoy.

Judges visited 72 finalists to decide who deserved the top prizes and best met the criteria of community participation, environmental responsibility and horticultural achievement.

The Britain in Bloom finalists were awarded either gold, silver gilt, silver, or bronze medals.