The sun shone in Oswestry as judges took in the sights and sounds of the town for this year’s Heart of England competition.

Entering the competition for the 16th year in a row, chairman of Oswestry in Bloom committee Betty Gull is hoping that they can win their 13th consecutive Gold award.

The three Heart of England In Bloom judges started their tour at the British Ironwork Centre and visited The Meadows Primary School, Henley Woods and Stonehouse Brewery before finishing with a tour of Oswestry School.

The judges were also treated to a surprise helicopter tour of Oswestry, courtesy of St Martins company Ridgway Rentals.

Mark Wiltshire, vice chairman of the Heart of England, said he requested to come back and judge Oswestry.

“This is my ninth year of coming to the town and it improves every single time I visit.

“Oswestry demonstrates how networking and community care makes such a difference to the town itself.

“I must say Cae Glas Park looks absolutely amazing. It’s not often I feel emotional during judging, but I did and that’s what this job is all about.”

The judges mark the town on three categories: horticultural, environmental and community.

David and Lesley Pritchard travelled from Ludlow to judge the competition. Lesley said: “It’s very humbling to see so much community involvement in Oswestry.

“The schools are particularly involved – one young child offered to share their produce with me which I thought was lovely.”

Miss Gull said that preparations for this year’s judging have been in place for a long time.

“It’s been a very odd year – it’s been very dry in the run-up to the competition.

“But we’ve been very lucky with the sunshine today and the judges have enjoyed their day.”

The results of Heart of England in Bloom will be announced on September 14 at Warwick Castle.