IS this the worst beer garden in Britain?

Overgrown and neglected, the garden at the Jubilee pub, in Balfour Street, Leeman Road, York, has been "named and shamed" as one of the ten most run-down in the country.

It has been shortlisted by a national campaign aiming to save Britain's pubs through the creation of better beer gardens.

The nomination could be the best thing that ever happened to the Jubilee garden - because the one named as the worst will win a £10,000 garden makeover by celebrity gardener Charlie Dimmock.

A panel of experts, including Charlie, will deliberate over which garden most deserves the makeover, based on the pub's role in the community and the garden's potential to be transformed.

A spokesman for the campaign, which is sponsored by Ronseal Eco, said the ten had been nominated by drinkers and landlords up and down the country.

Charlie said: "Some of the beer gardens that we have seen in this competition are really run down and neglected.

"They need a little TLC to turn them into thriving outdoor spaces and with summer fast-approaching, we need to do all we can to help pubs. I'm really looking forward to getting involved with the makeover."

James Smith, of Ronseal, said: "We've been overwhelmed with entries to the competition. The judging process has been very difficult, and we've waded through the good, the bad and the very ugly.

"But what we've done is not just choose the worst looking beer gardens. Instead, we've looked for a mixture of factors including criminally under-utilised outdoor spaces, shoddy workmanship or just plain depressing use of external areas.

"The campaign is not about pointing the finger at landlords with terrible beer gardens, but rather, is aimed at highlighting how outdoor garden spaces - in a pub or at home - can be transformed with a little care and attention.

"With an estimated four pubs closing every week due to lack of trade, and our research showing that customers are much more likely to frequent a pub with a decent beer garden, we hope this campaign will be a catalyst for landlords to take action."

The Jubilee landlady, who did not wish to be named, said the garden, which was shaded from the sun, had not been used for years, and customers preferred simply to go out to the front.

The winner will be announced later this month, with the makeover taking place in time for the May Spring Bank Holiday.

Garden disasters

The ten shortlisted pubs:The Jubilee, York
The Thornberries, Greater Manchester
The Captain Cook, Middlesbrough
The Malt & Hops, London
The Bateman Arms, Leominster, Herefordshire
The White Horse, Finningham, Suffolk
Woodies, New Malden, Surrey
The Butcher's Arms, Ripponden, West Yorkshire
The Forester's Arms, Leicester
The Redoubt, Wakefield