STOCKTON-ON-TEES is flying the flag as Britain's entry into Europe's biggest environmental competition.
Stockton gained the sole nomination to represent the nation's towns and cities in the prestigious Entente Florale after scooping a Gold award in last year's Britain in Bloom awards. Saint Brélade in Jersey is the other UK entry, in category for villages.
Entente Florale is a prestigious European competition, similar to Britain in Bloom. It takes place between 12 countries, each of which puts forward two representatives.
Preparations are now reaching their peak as the Borough gears up to look its very best for the visit of the Entente Florale judges on 7 August.
Austria, Belgium, Croatia, Czech Republic, France, Germany, Hungary, Ireland, Netherlands, Slovenia and the UK are all taking part, each sending one judge to visit each entry.
Judges are looking for cleanliness and the greening of the area, environmentally and ecologically sensitive development, and environmental education and communication. Waste collection and recovery, responsible use of chemical products and use of sustainable energy are also important criteria.
The judges will hear that Stockton Borough last month secured six Green Flag awards for its parks and green spaces.
Councillor Jennie Beaumont, Stockton Council's Cabinet Member for the Environment, said: "The Council's Care For Your Area team is putting the finishing touches to floral displays, parks and green spaces in preparation for the international judges' visit.
"Entente Florale is about much more than simply flowers - it's about quality of life, the way the Borough is developed and how the local community are involved in creating a better environment.
"Indeed, as part of our commitment to protecting the environment we have also made the move to using more environmentally-friendly herbicides and pesticides to control weeds and maintain our green spaces.
"It's a source of great pride that Stockton has won first Northumbria in Bloom and then Britain in Bloom. Now being chosen to represent the United Kingdom is a tremendous accolade.
"It will enhance our area's reputation across the continent and shows just how far Stockton-on-Tees has progressed in recent years."
With categories for towns over 10,000 population and villages of less than that figure, the aim of Entente Florale is to improve the quality of life for communities. It is organised by the Association Européenne du Fleurissement et du Paysage, founded more than 25 years ago, initially between the UK and France.
Businesses across the borough have also helped to support Stockton's efforts, sponsoring displays and creating their own floral arrangements.
The winners are announced during September.