Green-fingered Glenarm residents are celebrating after the village scooped its most prestigious horticultural achievement to date.
Glenarm was crowned the most beautiful small village in the Communities In Bloom contest during the 2015 National Symposium and Awards Ceremonies in Kamloops, Canada.
Scooping first place in the International Challenge (Small) category, the coastal village saw off competition from the Czech Republic, the Netherlands and Canada.
During the summer, trained volunteer judges from the Communities in Bloom jetted in from Canada to see first hand the work undertaken by the group of volunteer horticulturists in Glenarm.
Following their evaluation, judges Lorna McIlroy and Ted Zarudny wrote: “Glenarm is a beautiful historic coastal village. A small group of dedicated volunteers, using recycled containers, flowers, paint, shovels, and boundless energy accomplished miracles and managed to involve local residents, visitors and industry. “
The award is the latest in a series of prestigious accolades bestowed on the village in recent years.
A large part of that success is down to the efforts of a small but devoted team of volunteers, Glenarm in Bloom, which joined forces with Mid and East Antrim Council to help transform the village.
Since the group’s formation four years ago, the village has picked up three Ulster in Bloom awards, and struck gold last year in the Royal Horticultural Society’s Britain in Bloom, Europe’s biggest community gardening campaign.
Glenarm in Bloom volunteer, Frances Wilson told the Times she was “over the moon” with the award and hoped it would help attract more visitors to the village.
She added: “Everyone in Glenarm is very proud indeed. The whole village has shown great civic pride with hanging baskets, window boxes, planters, and new flower beds bringing much colour to previously derelict areas.
“We couldn’t have done it without the support from local businesses and the help of Mid and East Council.”
Mayor, Councillor Billy Ashe, along with Aldermen Maureen Morrow and Gerardine Mulvenna, paid tribute to Glenarm in Bloom on its achievement.
Cllr Ashe added: “In conjunction with council staff, they enhanced civic pride, community involvement and aided the beautification of the village. I am very pleased this has been officially recognised at an international level.”