LAST year, Ledbury in Bloom won its 13th gold medal in a row for the Heart of England in Bloom competition.

But number 13 has lived up up to its ominous reputation, because there will be no Ledbury in Bloom campaign this year, and no 14th gold medal to go for, because of the coronavirus crisis.

Until this week, the In Bloom team still planned to press ahead with the 2020 campaign,using small work parties; but events have overtaken them.

Ledbury in Bloom chairman, Clive Gunn said: "It looks as if fate has taken control of the situation. For now we we can only say that we will do what we can when it is legal to do so."

But there will be no Heart of England in Bloom competition this year, not for Ledbury and not for any other town.

First to be cancelled this week were the Royal Horticultural Society national finals of Britain in Bloom, followed closely by the announcement by the Heart of England in Bloom organisers.

It states: "Following the RHS announcement that the national finals of Britain in Bloom have been suspended for 2020, we feel it is only right and responsible that we should follow this example and therefore regrettably the heart of England in Bloom campaign has been suspended for 2020 and no judging or assessing will take place in any of the categories.

"While this is of course disappointing for all of us who are involved in the campaign, whether as entrants, judges or assessors, it is without doubt the right thing to do in the unprecedented circumstances which prevail."

The statement adds: "Our aim now is to look ahead to 2021 and try to ensure that we can all bounce back from this setback, and keep the Bloom flag flying for our region next summer.

"Our committee will aim to meet in the autumn, restrictions permitting, to begin planning for 2021, and we will keep our website updated so please check this regularly. In the meantime, I hope you all stay safe and well.Take good care of yourselves and your communities."