JUDGES have been examining the hard work of green-fingered volunteers.

For months, volunteers have been growing and pruning in preparation for the arrival of the Wigan in Bloom judges who arrived in the area last week.

Bill Blackledge and Brendan Cook headed to Howe Bridge to judge the efforts of The Bridgers before going to Mosley Common.

Chairman of The Bridgers Terry Daly welcomed the judges to Howe Bridge at St Michael's and All Angels Church Vestry with a presentation that described the group and the activities it is involved in.

He said: “The judging tour seemed to go very well with many positive comments from the two judges.

“There were a couple of minor criticisms about things that were out of our hands and it is hoped that this will be taken into consideration when the judges mark our result.”

The group has planted a shield which represents a poppy with the dates 1914 and 2014 at the side to mark the centenary of the outbreak of the First World War.

“The general feeling within the group was that of satisfaction in a job well done and we feel quite confident in the results,” said Terry.

“We would like to thank Bill Blackledge and Brendan Cook for the excellent manner in which they conducted the judging and for the constructive and helpful comments they made.”

The Mosley Common in Bloom group invited the judges to view their new flowerbeds, seating and a notice board on the common as well as the most recent addition – the bust of a miner sculpted by chainsaw sculptor Andy Burgess.

Two children, Matthew Barlow, aged 12, and his eight-year-old sister Ruby, were also awarded medals on the day for having helped the group since it started up in March last year.

In Bloom member Sylvia Abberley said: “Matt and Ruby have been a great help and it’s so nice to have the younger generation getting involved.”

The winners of Wigan in Bloom will be announced in October.