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SDR Gardens Volunteer Barbarah Parratt collects the awardPhoto © RAW Communications 2015

The scenic South Devon Railway ( SDR )won a prestigious ‘Outstanding’ horticultural award from the Royal Horticultural Society ( RHS ) and South West in Bloom’s ‘It’s Your Neighbourhood’ competition on the evening of Thursday 24th September.

SDR Groundsman Nic Wakeling was unable to attend the ceremony, but one member of the Buckfastleigh gardens team, Barbara Parratt, was there along with several hundred other entrants in the region, and she was were delighted to receive the top accolade and certificate, especially as it’s the second year running that the SDR has won a South West in Bloom award!

Commenting on the award, SDR Groundsman Nic Wakeling said: “The volunteer team here have worked really hard with me over the last six years and we’ve grown in both numbers and our confidence about what might be achieved in the lovely gardens at Buckfastleigh, complete with the steam railway as the backdrop.”

“We won a Level 4 ‘Thriving’ category last year, so it’s really pleasing to have gained an ‘Outstanding’ mark this time in only our second year of entering these horticultural ‘Oscars’ !”

“I was almost given a blank canvas to work with in some places by the railway’s management, and our efforts to add colour, new plantings and develop the landscaped gardens year on year have paid off. The place is always brighter and lovelier with plants and flowers, and we often receive positive comments from visitors who encouraged us to enter this competition last year.”

“It’s particularly pleasing to have won an ‘Outstanding’ category from the judges who made some wonderful comments about us, all of which augurs well for the future and that reflects great credit on the whole team.”

The SDR Buckfastleigh gardens team, who are almost all volunteers, comprises around ten local people, plus a regular group from the Passmore Edwards Centre.

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© South Devon Railway Association 2015

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