A WORCESTER garden centre has been crowned the best in the Midlands.

St Peters Garden Centre, based at Pear Tree Farm in Norton Road, has been awarded the title by the Garden Centre Association (GCA).

It is the first time the centre has won the title, but St Peters has won the Christmas and restaurant equivalent GCA regional awards in previous years.

Will Blake, managing director at St Peters Garden Centre, said: “We’re extremely proud of this result particularly considering the year we have all had.

"There was tough competition in our area as well, so it’s a testament to the hard work from the whole team and a thoroughly well-deserved result for them.”

Mr Blake said that he wanted to thank everyone who had supported them over the last 18 months, as it had been a "challenging time".

"The support and feedback is greatly appreciated, and we can’t thank you all enough," he added.

GCA inspector Gordon Emslie, said: “Key to this year’s success at St Peters was the welcoming and homely feeling you receive from staff when you visit the centre.

"Their overall operational consistency across all key elements during the inspection process was extremely strong. Plus, a solid ethos on environmental awareness.

The GCA represents over 200 garden centres nationwide. Through sharing information and its inspection programme the GCA helps members to achieve high standards in customer service, plant quality and reliability.

Mr Emslie added: "The awards are decided by the results of the annual inspections, which take place at all GCA garden centres. Garden centres have no advance warning about when their inspection will take place and they do not have the option to turn away the inspector."

Earlier this year we reported the garden centre added its own wildlife area, Poppy’s Farm, which Will's dad Tony - the founder of the Norton centre - had always dreamt about.

The area features pygmy goats, rare-breed hens and miniature pigs.