ALMOST 300 pupils from 12 schools rolled up their sleeves and turned empty flower beds into gardens for the annual Planting in the Park Competition.

This year's superhero-themed event saw youngsters create displays in honour of their favourite comic strip and adventure film characters, from Batman to Wonder Woman.

Armed with trowels, spades and dibbers, pupils used nearly 5,000 plants to turn the beds in People's Park into a riot of colour last week.

The event is part of Banbury in Bloom and encourages young people to develop an interest in nature and horticulture.

Mayor Colin Clarke, who judged the beds alongside Banbury Town Councillor Nick Harrison, said: "This is an extremely worthwhile event and the number of pupils taking part shows how well-loved it is. "Everyone has had a great day and learned a little bit about nature.

"The theme ‘superheroes’ has proved very popular."

The first prize for flower beds was won by Queensway Primary School, followed by Bishop Loveday in second place and St Mary's in third place.

St Mary's came first in the centrepieces category followed by St John's Priory and Harriers Banbury Academy.