Dr FRANCES Howard has been presented with a commendation award for her work with Britain in Bloom on the Bere peninsula.

The chair of Bere Ferrers Parish Council, Peter Crozier, who is also a borough councillor for the ward, presented Frances with his chairman’s commendation award at Harlings Farm on Saturday whilst an Easter egg hunt was being held for local children.

Frances was given this award for her specialist contribution to the peninsula’s Britain in Bloom group and entry into South West in Bloom, having conducted unique environmental work including ecological surveys of wildflowers, hedgehogs and moths, identified different plants and species and been instrumental in the installation of 14 swift boxes in the locality.

At the parish’s annual meeting the Friday before last, although she could not be present, Frances was awarded the community champion certificate for her specialist environmental contribution to the villages’ entry by the Lord Lieutenant of Devon in his first-ever visit to the peninsula.

Other members of the Britain in Bloom group such as Liz McQueen and Jeanette Englefield were presented with awards for their distinguished service to the parish, including the rarely given and prestigious Freedom of the Village award. These were the highest awards that can be received.

The efforts of the ladies on the committee and others helped to secure a gold gilt for the village in the large village category of South West in Bloom 2022, with second gold for coming first out of all large villages in the area which stretches from Penzance in Cornwall to Swindon in Wiltshire, thus winning the Cox Cup. In 2019, the highest marks ever recorded for first time entrants were given to village, falling just two points short of a gold award.

At the annual meeting, the Lord Lieutenant of Devon David Fursdon said: ‘I do come across people doing wonderful things for their communities and the opportunity to thank them on behalf of the king is one of the real privileges of the role of Lord Lieutenant. I know the difference Britain in Bloom can make in lifitng people’s spirits; making them feel so proud of where they live and actually enable people to overcome any feelings of upset they may have.

‘Congratulations to every one of you who has made these wonderful things happen. I can’t encourage people enough to get involved because you all do a great job.’