Green-fingered gardeners are being asked to join forces to improve their neighbourhood in this year’s Cornwall in Bloom competition.

The annual competition encourages community groups who enjoy improving the area where they live, to give gardens and open spaces a makeover.

There are four categories, so if you and your neighbours want to tackle local litter, or if you are part of a larger group who wish to smarten up your town or village, there is a category for you.

• Public parks, gardens and green spaces: - cemeteries and churchyards, library and community gardens, recreation grounds, playing fields, play sites, nature trails, public footways, car parks

• Floral Displays: - hanging baskets, flower beds, shops, hotels and pubs, town centre displays, community centres, villages halls, schools, libraries

• Environmental projects: - wildlife and nature reserves, rivers, ponds and waterways, conservation and wildlife projects, meadows, sustainable gardening, allotments/ landshare, community orchards, woodlands, eco-initiatives

• Transforming Spaces: - giving public areas a facelift, management of vacant premises, plots and common and industrial areas, housing estates and residential areas.

There are three £250 awards for each category with the money to be used towards their Cornwall in Bloom project.

• Sprouting: - Your group has been set up your project is moving in the right direction towards your goals.

• Budding: - You are well on your way and have made a real difference to your environment.

• Full Bloom: - Your project is a real success and you will be eligible to enter the “It’s Your Neighbourhood Award Scheme” or the South West in Bloom competitions the following year

Edwina Hannaford, Cornwall Council cabinet member for environment, heritage and planning said: “In most people’s minds, the words ‘In Bloom’ conjure up images of flowers, but Cornwall in Bloom is so much more than that.

"Whilst flowers can play a part, more importantly Cornwall in Bloom provides a great opportunity for communities to work together to improve neighbourhoods.”

“The event’s success over the last few years is testament to the dedication of those volunteers who make our villages and towns so inviting.”

With judging due to take place in July and August, groups are being encouraged to register now before the deadline of Monday 23 June.

For further information please contact: Jackie Mace Tel: 01872 324979 Email: Richard Budge Tel: 01872 274766 Email: Cornwall in Bloom is sponsored by CORMAC Solutions Ltd., South West in Bloom, Truro City Council, St Austell Printing Company, Duchy of Cornwall and Clean Cornwall.