Yorkshire in Bloom

Yorkshire in Bloom is a competition that is run within Yorkshire by the Royal Horticultural Society. It is for communities, community facilities (such as parks), charitable organisations, businesses and tourist attraction, and encourages them to make a positive and lasting improvement to their local environment for the benefit of local people.  It is not just about planting flowers and hanging baskets, but also seeks to encourage more general environmental awareness. Entries are assessed by local judges, and are awarded either Gold, Silver Gilt, Silver or Bronze standards.

Mick receiving the award


Middleton Railway is delighted to announce it won a GOLD award at the Yorkshire in Bloom annual awards ceremony held in Tadcaster on Thursday 28th September.
This is the 4th successive GOLD award and reflects the hard work put in by our Head Gardener, Mick Jackson, and his team of volunteers who have continuously improved the railways’ floral displays over the years.  New planters have been introduced in the car park area, along with insect “Bug Hotels” and extra nesting boxes for wild birds.  Also, wild flower seeds have been spread in areas around the railway to help improve the local flora and fauna.
Work is already in hand for the 2024 season, and the railway will enter the Yorkshire in Bloom competition again, hopefully to secure another GOLD award.
Charles, our chairman, in the presentation of the results for 2022.


The Middleton Railway comes in the category for Tourist Attractions, and in 2022 we won a Gold Award, as we did in 2019 and 2018. The competition did not run in 2020 or 2021, as the corona virus pandemic meant that judging could not be organised.

Here is some of what the judges said about the railway in 2022. “Indoor and outdoor accessible areas were maintained to a high standard“. “All planted areas were of a high standard … with obvious thought & consideration had gone into the selection of plants“. “The volunteers clearly cared for the railway and their pride shone throughout … from the spotlessly clean Engine House & all the local history information to the immaculately kept engines & exhibits in the museum“.

The flower display outside the entrance to the Engine House, in September 2019.


In 2019 the judges had obviously enjoyed the whole of their visit, as they said “What an experience this was, the passion of the team is absolutely infectious. the history and heritage is wonderful. Well organised, fantastic interpretation.“. For the floral displays themselves they said “The planting around the station is wonderful, well cared for and all adds to the overall experience.“. They particularly liked the newly planted area in front of the entrance to the Engine House, and the fact that we had implemented the suggestions that they had made in 2018.

One of the flower displays on the platform, at the beginning of May 2018.


2018 was the first time that we had entered the competition, and the judging was due to take place only two days after the setback caused by the fire at a neighbouring builder’s merchants. Fortunately the judges made allowances for this, and in particular they said “The platform is the WOW factor to this entry, filled with colourful planters and hanging baskets. The planters have been made by a local school and are of a good quality and have been looked after year on year. The platform fencing is well kept and in keeping as is the fencing on the boundary..”. They also made some useful suggestions for how we might improve things further.

Child Friendly Leeds

The certificate recording our nomination.

One competition was for the “Child Friendly Leeds” awards. These are made at the beginning of each year, and for 2019 we were nominated in the category for “Best Place in Leeds for Children and Young People”

These awards are sponsored by Child Friendly Leeds, which is run by Leeds City Council, and this was the sixth year in which they had been made. More details of these awards can be found at Leeds City Council’s page for the Child Friendly Awards (which will open in a separate browser tab or window).

Day Out With The Kids

The badge recording our award.

Another competition was for the “Family Favourites” awards, and is run by the organisation “Day Out with the Kids”.  For 2018 we were one of six finalists from Yorkshire in the category “Best event at an attraction”.  This recognised the success of our event “Walk in the Woods”, which ran in that year on Sunday 6th and Monday 7th May.

More details of these awards can be found on the website for Day Out With The Kids, at their page for their Family Favourites Awards (which will open in a separate browser tab or window). These awards could obviously not run during the coronavirus pandemic, and details of the 2022 awards are still awaited.