GREEN-fingered volunteers in Melksham are celebrating after the town kept its Gold rating in this year's South West in Bloom Awards.

The town put on a special effort as part of its 800th Royal Charter anniversary celebrations with medieval-themed floral displays, flags and banners.

The team took Gold in the Sargent Cup competition for towns with a population of 9,000-11,999. The Sargent Cup winner was Sidmouth.

The awards were presented at a South West in Bloom awards ceremony in Newquay, Cornwall, last Friday, October 12.

Debbie Bentley, of Melksham Town Council, said: "We are absolutely delighted. It's a fantastic result.

"We have now retained our Gold award for three consecutive years.

"On the night, we turned the town hall gold with special lighting and we will be lighting it up in gold again this weekend."

The Melksham in Bloom team of volunteers made a special effort this year with a Bloomin Corner and bug house near the Waitrose supermarket, and wildlife gardens elsewhere.

With help from Lackham College horticultural students, they also renovated the garden behind the town's Spiritualist Church to create a place of quiet reflection for visitors.

Another highlight was a giant floral bee in the Market Place roundabout near the town hall.