GREEN-FINGERED volunteers are hoping they may still be able to brighten up towns later in the summer despite the national Bloom campaign being cancelled due to coronavirus.

This year's RHS Britain in Bloom UK finals have been scrapped as the country ramps up efforts to try to prevent the spread of COVID-19 by calling on everyone to remain socially distant until further notice.

A spokesman for the competition said: "This is a worldwide and unprecedented challenging time for so many people and of course the health and safety of communities, volunteers and judges remains our number one priority.

"With the Government advising everyone to follow social distancing measures, it is sadly not currently possible for finalists to carry out their usual community gardening activities.

"Communities put huge year-round effort into Britain in Bloom to the benefit of both people and the environment and we know our 70 finalists will be very disappointed.

"The decision has not been taken lightly and we hope that many groups will want to participate again in 2021."

Stourbridge in Bloom organiser David Harcourt who has led the town to gold award victory on nine occasions, said of the situation: "It's not unexpected in the circumstances.

"However, all of the plants have been ordered and they are in the growing stage. Quarry Bank and Halesowen and ourselves are in the same position.

"We're hoping there might be opportunities by the end of July to get some colour and brightness back into our towns. We can only hope."