GARDENERS in Westonzoyland say they are “chuffed” their allotments have been shortlisted for the Prince of Wales Award.

The 44 allotments on the edge of Westonzoyland, next to the airfield, were set up three years and have proven to be very popular.

Families, young people and retirees have taken spots to grow a wide variety of vegetables at the allotments, with only one of the spots not filled.

The announcement came as a bit of a surprise to the gardeners.

Mike Tucker, chairman of Westonzoyland Allotment Gardeners, said: “We were actually looking to see how we could raise some money and the parish council suggested we go for it.

“We ticked all the boxes for the requirement so we said we would have a go.”

The Prince of Wales Award is open to community organisations, schools, colleges and groups which have, through their own initiative, brought about improvements to the lives of the rural population in a sustainable manner.

The award is intended to embrace a wide range of schemes where there has been a genuine attempt to move forward in a resourceful and inventive way to the benefit of a rural community.

Mr Tucker said: “We were a bit surprised when we were shortlisted, given the scope and the area it covers so we were chuffed.

“It’s open to organisations in Bristol, Somerset, Dorset, Wiltshire, Hampshire and Gloucestershire.

“We have received visits by judges from the Duchy of Cornwall, the deputy president of the Royal Bath and West Society and last year’s winner, the River Bourne Community Farm near Salisbury.”

David Coles and Gerald Goghill from Westonzoyland will travel to the Royal Bath and West show on May 28 to represent their villages’ allotments, with the winner taking home £1,000.