STANGHOW is celebrating after wowing judges and winning Gold in the Royal Horticultural Society’s (RHS) Britain in Bloom competition.

Britain in Bloom, which is in its 53rd year, is a UK-wide campaign supporting communities to improve their environment through gardening.

This year, the East Cleveland village was awarded Gold in the Small Village category competing against Bray in Berkshire and Kilconquhar in Scotland.

This is Stanghow Residents’ Group’s fourth national gold award, as well as previously winning silver gilt. Regionally, for the Northumbria in Bloom competition, the group have taken home eight golds.

In 2013, the village won the top prize in the national competition, the Champion of Champions, and has now been invited back to compete in next year’s prestigious awards.

Speaking of this year’s success, June Murray, Secretary of Stanghow Residents’ Group, said: “We are absolutely delighted, and so proud that the village has received this recognition. It’s a testament to all the hard work our volunteers do, all year round.

“We welcome people into the team at any level, you don’t have to be a seasoned gardener to take part and help out. A retired welder in our village designed and made the Blacksmith statue, and we do a lot of fundraising such as coffee mornings, baking and litter-picking, so it’s a real team effort.

“Being a part of Britain in Bloom really helps bring the community together and gets people talking. Ultimately, we all have pride in where we live, so it’s great to share this success with each other as well as the rest of the village and beyond.”

Councillor Steve Kay, ward member for Lockwood, said: “Stanghow has again excelled itself in the Britain in Bloom stakes.  This small village already has a fantastic record in what is a UK wide competition.

“I am delighted that the village has been invited to take part in the national Champion of Champions competition next year and with all the planning and effort they put in, they deserve to win that too.

“Thanks go to Redcar & Cleveland Council and Lockwood Parish Council for their support.

“I am proud to represent Stanghow who, along with the other Lockwood villages of Moorsholm and Lingdale, have achieved so much, florally and environmentally, over recent years.”