UPTON in Bloom has been selected from more than 600 entrants to take part in the Royal Horticultural Society's Britain in Bloom UK Finals 2016.

It is one of 72 finalists from across the UK and is in the large village category. The group was selected for its outstanding commitment to environmental responsibility, community participation and gardening achievement.

In August this year, Upton in Bloom’s volunteers will lead Bloom judges on a tour of local projects and initiatives in the hope of being awarded gold at the annual award ceremony in October.

In recognition of challenges some Bloom finalists face as a result of the recent floods, the RHS has created a new award to honour those who have battled against adversity.

The award will recognise those groups that have worked in difficult circumstances to put the bloom back into their towns, villages and cities across the country.

Upton in Bloom chairman Jackie Surtees said: “Upton in Bloom is very proud to represent the Heart of England in the national finals. With the help of our community, we hope to achieve a gold award for Upton upon Severn this year.”

Andrea Van Sittart, RHS head of community outreach, said: “We would like to congratulate Upton in Bloom for reaching the UK finals of RHS Britain in Bloom. It’s a tremendous achievement and illustrates the groups’ impressive commitment to improving their local environment.

“Volunteers of all ages and all walks of life participate in Bloom, making extraordinary efforts to improve streets and neighbourhoods in towns, villages and cities across Britain. It is vital we celebrate and recognise their efforts to strengthen their communities and inspire others to get involved.”

Britain in Bloom groups are assessed on a wide range of initiatives, such as the maintenance of parks and communal gardens, the management of natural spaces, community campaigns to promote recycling and environmental awareness, and projects involving local residents and schools.