WIMBORNE has won the best small town prize in the Britain in Bloom awards for the first time ever.

Anthony Oliver, chairman of Wimborne in Bloom, said: “We are absolutely delighted.

“The town looks super and hopefully this will bring more people down to see what Wimborne is all about.”

The results were announced on Saturday night in a ceremony at St Peter Port on Guernsey.

Wimborne was up against Ahoghill in Northern Ireland, Woodstock in Oxfordshire, Addingham in West Yorkshire, and Sedgefield in County Durham.

The judges praised the Priest’s House museum and garden, the model town, Willow Walk near Waitrose and the planters in the town square.

They were impressed with the events and projects held throughout the year at places like the Allendale Centre and the good relationship with the National Trust. The Green Man pub was also shortlisted in the community award. Mr Oliver said: “We have been in the final three times before and this is a wonderful accolade. The judges said that the town was absolutely perfect.”

He added: “This was down to a lot of hard work by many, many, people over many years – it’s a team effort in the community.”

He also picked up an unexpected personal honour – a Community Champion award.

The three-man party from Wimborne will bring back a glass award and a gold framed certificate.

This win came as the town staged its 20th In Bloom. Britain in Bloom is staged by the Royal Horticultural Society. Wimborne last year won the regional competition.