FOR the second year running, South Devon Railway’s gardens team has picked up a South West in Bloom award.

This time the award was for ‘outstanding’ in the Royal Horticultural Society and South West in Bloom’s It’s Your Neighbourhood competition.

Barbara Parratt (pictured above), one of the gardens team volunteers, picked up the award certificate at the annual ceremony.

Nic Wakeling, SDR groundsman, said: ‘The volunteer team here has worked really hard with me over the last six years and we’ve grown in both numbers and our confidence about what might be achieved in the lovely gardens at Buckfastleigh, complete with the steam railway as the backdrop.

‘We won a level 4 “thriving” category last year, so it’s really pleasing to have gained an “outstanding” mark this time in only our second year of entering these horticultural “Oscars”!

‘I was almost given a blank canvas to work with in some places by the railway’s management, and our efforts to add colour, new plantings and develop the landscaped gardens year-on-year have paid off.

‘The place is always brighter and lovelier with plants and flowers, and we often receive positive comments from visitors who encouraged us to enter this competition last year.

‘It’s particularly pleasing to have won an “outstanding” category from the judges who made some wonderful comments about us, all of which augurs well for the future and that reflects great credit on the whole team.’

The SDR Buckfastleigh gardens team, who are almost all volunteers, comprises around ten local people, plus a regular group from the Passmore Edwards Centre.