CHESHAM In Bloom's members are keeping their green fingers crossed for gold after judges paid a visit to the town today.

Chesham has won numerous recent awards in the annual Britain in Bloom contest - including winning the Best Large Town category in each of the last two years - but gold has so far been elusive.

And with residents saying the town has never looked greener hopes are high another award is coming their way, after judges from the Thames and Chiltern branch of Britain In Bloom arrived this morning.

New display beds have been put up around the town, wildflowers have been planted and a community orchard created in Lowndes Park last year is now bearing fruit.

A flower bed in the shape of the number 50 has been created in the park to mark the 50th anniversary of the Britain in Bloom campaign and a display created using poppies has also been put up in Red Lion Street as part of the First World War centenary commemorations.

Vince Crompton, chairman of Chesham In Bloom, said: "A lot of people have said this is the best the town has ever looked. It's something we can be very proud of in the town.

"We've seen an enormous amount of goodwill from residents - the committee of people is the biggest it's ever been.

"We've had a lot more input from businesses this year, and they've said since we've done the beds trade has increased."

He added: "It's a big ask to get a gold, especially for a town of our size. We hope to achieve a gold but that's never a foregone conclusion.

"The judges always recognise the goodwill of the community. That's something they always say makes us stand out from the other places."

Volunteers have been carrying out regular litter pick-ups, with Mayor Mohammad Fayyaz and the Imam of the Bellingdon Road Mosque Arif Hussain Ashrafi among those going round with their grabbers to help tidy the town centre.

The results of this year's Britain In Bloom contest are announced on September 17.

For more information on Chesham In Bloom contact Kathryn Graves at the Town Hall on 01494 583798 or