Halstead has been crowned Anglia in Bloom’s best town for an astonishing tenth year running.

The team of volunteers scooped the top award in the medium-sized town category during a special ceremony held at the Apex Theatre, in Bury St Edmunds on Wednesday.

Halstead claimed gold and best town ahead of Brandon, Chatteris, Downham Market and Swaffham.

It confirms a decade of dominance for the volunteers of Halstead in Bloom, who were understandably delighted with this year’s results.

Secretary Julia Smith said: “We are absolutely thrilled and so excited.

“I don’t know if it’s ever been done before but it’s something the town should be very proud of.

“It is great achievement bearing in mind the difficult weather conditions throughout the summer and the increasing competition from other towns.

“These awards are only possible with the selfless work carried out by all the volunteers and support of the town council, district and county councils, and sponsors.”

Halstead Public Gardens was also named the best in the Medium Park category.

The gardens, which have claimed the top prize in the previous two years of Anglia in Bloom, were scrutinised for a full hour when the judges visited back in July.

Halstead Public Gardens chairman Jackie Pell said: “I walked around the gardens with the judges when they came and I just got that sense they liked it.

“They were very impressed with what goes on in the park. There are community events that go on in there – it’s not just about how pretty it looks.

“It’s something that is used and open to everybody and the judges were very impressed by that.”

She added: “I’m delighted for all of the volunteers. This year has been exceptionally difficult because of the dry weather and we shouldn’t underestimate how much hard work has been put into it.

“The team are out there come rain or shine. They are very dedicated and deserve their success.”

Judges were taken on a full tour of Halstead, stopping off at many places.

The likes of Halstead cemetery won a silver award.

Holy Trinity School Gardening Club, Halstead Roadrunners and the Guides’ allotments were among the groups which also impressed and made the shortlist for individual awards.

Speaking during Wednesday’s award ceremony at the Apex Theatre, Anglia in Bloom chair of judges George Dawson commended all the entrants for their work during what was am unusually warm and dry summer.

He said: “I would want my best wishes and congratulations to go not only the award winners but to everyone who took part in this year’s campaign.

“A community is a winner as soon as it enters into the campaign. No matter what the British climate throws at us the entrants in Anglia in Bloom take it all in their stride and make the areas where they live better places.

“The campaign is not only about flowers as the name In Bloom would suggest.

“Many different elements are judged, environmental quality, community involvement, biodiversity and the involvement of young people to name but a few."