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Banbury Town Council is looking for giant sunflowers – and is offering prizes to the growers of the tallest plants.

Prizes for Sunflower Challenge.

Banbury Town Council is looking for giant sunflowers – and is offering prizes to the growers of the tallest plants.

The council’s Sunflower Challenge will be judged in August and is open to 16 year olds and under who live in Banbury or attend one of the town’s schools.

The competition is part of the council’s policy to involve young people in environmental projects and contributes to this year’s Banbury In Bloom.

Other council initiatives for young people include hanging baskets workshops and planting-in-the-park – an all-day event at which hundreds of primary school pupils plant flowerbeds in People’s Park.

The school that produces the best flowerbed receives a trophy.

The sunflower competition was launched in April when more than 500 children at primary schools and nurseries in the town attended sunflower workshops and all went home with sunflower seeds in pots.

Cllr Colin Clarke, chairman of the council’s general services committee, said:

“Schoolchildren love our gardening projects which, in effect, are practical nature studies. The great thing about planting-in-the-park is that the children can go back throughout the summer to see the results of their handiwork. Hopefully their interest in nature will stay with them all through their lives.

“The Sunflower Challenge is a long-term project that means children nurture their plants over a period of time and compete with their friends to see who can grow the tallest.”

Challenge entries must be in by August 16 and entrants must be 16 or under, have an OX16 postcode, or attend a Banbury school or nursery. The council’s park rangers will judge the entries and the tallest three will receive WH Smith vouchers.

Entry forms can be obtained by emailing , by telephoning 01295 250340, or by calling at the town hall.

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