Green fingered gardeners will have to wait until 2021 to compete for a top prize in a national competition.

The Royal Horticultural Society, organisers of Britain in Bloom, have issued a statement regarding the UK finals of their annual competition due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

A spokesperson for the RHS said: "Due to the COVID-19 outbreak, this year’s RHS Britain in Bloom UK finals competition will not be going ahead.

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

Blackburn town centre was among the finalists in the Business Improvement Districts, Town Centres and City Centres category and Barnoldswick in the Town category.

The spokesperson added: "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.

"We thank those involved for all the hard work they’ve put in so far to make the UK a cleaner, greener and more beautiful place, and their amazing community spirit that will be very important to people in the difficult times ahead."

Britain in Bloom groups with queries can contact the RHS at