THEY did it again.

Not content to snatch gold at the Royal Horticultural Society Britain In Bloom contest last year, Thornbury’s expert team of gardeners scooped the top award in the organisation’s Champion of Champions class on Saturday.

The green-fingered group who planted, trimmed and composed scores of flower displays in all kinds of dreadful weather last summer were over the moon when Thornbury’s name was called out as the undisputed winner.

Only the crème de la crème of landscaping is invited to compete in the Champion of Champions category.

Sue Aitken, chairman of Thornbury in Bloom and owner of the Garden Shop, told the Gazette: "Gold medals are hard to come by and out of the other five entries from the South West there was only one other gold.

"Just being invited to enter the RHS Champion of Champions category has been a huge honour for us as we only entered the RHS nationals for the first time in 2009. Our town has developed and this year we have achieved more than we have ever done before with new floral displays and perennial planting."

She added: "Literally hundreds of people have supported our campaign and thanks go to them all. The most important result is that our town has looked fantastic. It has been clean and tidy and the friendships made over the year will stand for a long time. The community is at the heart of our entry and thanks go to everyone who has helped in any way."

Thornbury was up against four others contestants from Scotland, Northern Ireland, Northumbria and the East Midlands.

The team was also presented with the RHS Britain in Bloom Environmental Responsibility Award at the ceremony hosted by BBC presenter Matt Baker in St Peter Port, Guernsey at the weekend.

Roger Burnett, chairman of the RHS Britain in Bloom UK judging panel, said: "We had the privilege and pleasure of visiting the most environmentally aware communities in Britain and meeting the wonderful people responsible for them. The best thing about being a judge is meeting the volunteers. They’re hard-working and resilient – whatever’s thrown at them, whether it’s a hose-pipe ban or flooding, they’ll find a way around it."

Thornbury and Yate MP Steve Webb sent his congratualtions to the group of volunteers. He said: "To win a gold award in the Champion of Champions category is highly prestigious and much sought-after and shows that Thornbury’s achievements are being noticed on the national stage. The whole town can feel proud of what has been achieved."