Left to right: Cllr Brian Cole Exmouth Mayor, Nick Christo, Cllr Pat Graham OBE, President of Exmouth in Bloom, Gerry Bassett, Chair Exmouth in Bloom, Cllr Jeff Trail Deputy Mayor, Marion Drew Exmouth in Bloom

East Devon coastal towns are gold award winners when it comes to horticultural splendour

Two of East Devon’s seaside towns – Sidmouth and Exmouth - have proved they are the best when it comes to horticultural excellence by winning RHS South West in Bloom Gold awards. Their superb achievements are due in no small measure to the efforts of East Devon District Council’s StreetScene teams, Sidmouth and Exmouth Town Councils, dedicated local volunteers and local businesses.

At the 2017 RHS South West in Bloom Awards, Sidmouth received a Gold award in the small coastal town category and won the Sargents Cup for being the best nominee in this category. This award followed a Gold in the 2016 South West Champions of Champions and several discretional awards for Best Business, Best Use of Indigenous Plants and Best Sea Side entry.

Sidmouth went on to further glory at the RHS Britain in Bloom National Awards by winning Gold and best in category for small coastal towns in the UK. This means that Sidmouth came top of the list for all small coastal towns in England, Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland and the Channel Islands. At the National Awards Sidmouth was also nominated to take part in the 2018 UK Champions of Champions together with five other class winners, from large villages to small cities. Truro was also nominated to take part – which was a fantastic result for the RHS South West representatives.

Exmouth was also a Gold award winner in the small coastal town category of the RHS South West in Bloom Awards and was the recipient of the Michael McGahey trophy for outstanding community effort.

Nick Christo, StreetScene Area Manager West, is delighted with the results:

These wins reflect the special relationship that has developed between East Devon District Council’s StreetScene service and Exmouth Town Council.  The Friends scheme is supported by nearly 300 people each year and nearly 50 businesses in the town provide sponsorship of planters, beds , baskets and troughs. All these people, along with Devon Wildlife Trust, Men's Shed, It's Your Neighbourhood groups and fantastic volunteer helpers have contributed to our success and must share in the accolade and deserve our grateful thanks.

Commenting on Sidmouth and Exmouth’s award-winning status, Andrew Hancock, the service lead for StreetScene, said:

It has been an amazing year of horticultural achievements for Sidmouth and Exmouth and I am delighted that the hard work and dedication of our StreetScene teams, together with the town councils and volunteers of both towns has been recognised.

Sidmouth’s entry has progressed right the way to the top and in 2018 we will be competing against the best of all the UK entries, regardless of size. This will, in addition to this year’s accolade, bring great prestige to the town and add to all the other desirable things that make up Sidmouth’s heritage.

I would like to thank all my StreetScene teams, as well as town councils, volunteers and businesses for their outstanding dedication and hard work in achieving these awards. We look forward to continuing these successes in 2018 and onwards.