We visit the village that has been named as North Yorkshire’s only finalist in the UK’s largest community gardening competition.

This summer, the village will battle it out against 70 finalists to be awarded either a gold, silver or bronze medal by the Britain in Bloom judges in the largest village category.  

Thornton le Dale Hub entered the competition after the village won gold in last year’s Yorkshire in Bloom. The group of 160 dedicated volunteers plan and deliver activities aimed at enhancing the local environment.

Denise Rajab and Roger Sharples are coordinators of the Britain in Bloom entry. “We are delighted that the village has been chosen to represent Yorkshire in this year’s Britain in Bloom,” said Denise. “It is a testament to the volunteers who have worked tirelessly to transform our green spaces into something beautiful.

“From litter picking to pond projects and rail painting to bulb planting, the community has rallied round over the past two years. People of all ages are getting involved, making this a whole community effort which has been key to our success.”

Roger added: “From last year when we won the gold award it’s amazing to think we have gone on to gain nationwide recognition in the Britain in Bloom competition.

“Being a member of the Hub it’s not just about doing practical activities, the social aspect is really important as well with all the benefits of meeting other people in the village.

“We have all the plans in place to prepare for judging later in the year and are now encouraging local businesses to come forward as sponsors. When spring comes the hard work will really begin!”


The Hub has launched a Bee Friendly initiative, with the crafty club knitting bees and handing out seeds to all residents. The group aims to visit every school in Ryedale to spread the message of how important bees are for the environment.

County Councillor Janet Sanderson, member for Thornton Dale and The Wolds, used some of her locality grant to make improvements around the pond area which included a nature trail opened by County Council chairman Councillor Jim Clark last year.

“We are blessed in Thornton le Dale to have a variety of groups who work hard to maintain our village,” said Councillor Sanderson.

“The Hub offers residents the opportunity to contribute what they can when they can and this model has proved hugely successful both in terms of improvements to the village and community interaction. We are all rooting for them.”

Thornton le Dale will be visited by a pair of Royal Horticultural Society (RHS) judges as they vie for a medal, a category win and to be named Champion of Champions.

The Champion of Champions title, winners of each category and finalists’ medals will be announced in Manchester in October.