People across Chorley are getting behind the town’s bid for national glory as it gears up to represent the whole of the North West in the Britain in Bloom competition this summer.

Chorley won a gold award in the Royal Horticultural Society. North West in Bloom competition last year and as a result, was selected by the judges to represent the North West in the ‘small city’ category of the Britain in Bloom competition this year.

The town is competing against Bath, Bracknell, Crawley, Harrogate, Tamworth, Loughborough and Derry City in Northern ireland.

The judges will visit the town, on a date yet to be announced, meeting community representatives and tour local projects.

As well as judging the bedding displays, they will also inspect everything from recycling initiatives to areas of natural habitat and conservation.

Councillor Adrian Lowe, who oversees the borough’s floral displays for Chorley Council, said: “We’ve had offers of sponsorship from businesses and organisations, and groups, schools and individuals are helping with planting projects.

“We as a council have allocated £10,000 to improving our horticultural displays this year so we’re planning to create a number of specialised features in the town and on the roundabouts on the bypass.

“Plus we’re also creating new features in Astley Park as a lasting legacy such as wildflower meadows and a snowdrop trail, and improving the sensory garden.

“When the snowdrop trail was planted in Astley Park this week, there were around 135 people involved, including local school children and adults from groups such as Friends of Astley Park, the Astley Walled Gardeners, Chorley Day Care Centre and the Find Your Feet Walkers who planted around 8,000 bulbs.

“While these won’t flower for the judging in summer, they’ll look spectacular for us all to enjoy in the park early next year.

“I’m really pleased that town centre pubs, shops and businesses are coming on board.”