A POPULAR flower show which has only been cancelled twice before, because of world wars, has been called off this year due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Ledbury Horticultural Society, which has existed since Victorian times, has called off this year’s Ledbury Flower Show, which was due to take place on August Bank Holiday Monday.

A spokesman for the society said: “This decision has been reluctantly taken owing to the latest Government announcements and the uncertainty of when life will get back to normal caused by the coronavirus pandemic.

“The show takes several months to organise to ensure its success and with no guarantee that social distancing will be eased sufficiently by August to run the event the committee concluded it was not viable to be held in 2020.

“I know our local gardeners and exhibitors will be disappointed but, we are already planning for 2021 with more family classes, more cash prizes and more entertainment on the day - so please join us for 2021

Ledbury'S mayor, Councillor Phillip Howells, said: “It’s a great shame as the show each year is a delight and it supports our local fruit and vegetable growers.

“This comes on the back of a number of cancellations in the town, a town which is known for tourism which sustains the local economy - but all these measures are to ensure the safety of the community. Safety is at the heart of everything we do.”

The flower show is an annual event which is run in conjunction with the Ledbury Carnival, which also has been cancelled, and enjoyed by hundreds of exhibitors and visitors every year.

A swathe of cancellations have hit Ledbury during the Covid-19 pandemic, including the Ledbury Poetry Festival - the largest and most established poetry festival in the UK, which always attracts big acts.

However, there is a degree of positivity in the air as Ledbury Town Council is sponsoring some hanging baskets, currently being prepared by The Yard House in Twyning, to adorn communal public areas.

The Ledbury in Bloom team has won gold awards in each of the last 13 years of the national competition which rewards towns that produce impressive floral displays.

The world famous Chelsea Flower Show will take place online this year, known as Virtual Chelsea, where attendees will be able to see potting demonstrations, as well as participate in behind-the-scenes tours of award-winning nurseries.