A giant bear made from artificial grass has helped a small local business scoop a coveted award at the North Devon Show, in a competition judged by MP Peter Heaton-Jones.

A Branch Above, based in South Molton, beat dozens of bigger companies to win the prestigious first prize for Best Trade Stand at the Show on Wednesday.  Their display, which was organised in conjunction with partner firm BGS Landcapes, featured ‘Arti’, an over-sized bear made from synthetic grass.

The business was only registered in April this year by Scott Marsh and partner Melanie Iles from South Molton.  They specialise in garden design, fencing and landscaping, and are local distributors for an artificial grass which is now being used by homes, sports clubs and local councils.  The grass is also used to make giant animals as garden features, and ‘Arti’ the bear was a huge attraction at the company’s display.

North Devon MP Peter Heaton-Jones, who judged the competition at the Show, said, “Of the dozens of trade stands, this one was just so eye-catching.  There were much bigger companies with huge displays, but I was struck by how much work BGS and A Branch Above had put into their entry and how different it was.  And ‘Arti’ was attracting such a crowd!

“Small businesses are the lifeblood of the North Devon economy and it was so good to be able to recognise that with this award.  I wish Scott and Melanie all the best with their venture, and huge congratulations on winning this prize”.

Second prize was awarded to hauliers Evans Transport, third prize to agricultural engineers Andrew Symons, with highly commended being given to community radio station The Voice.  The winners received rosettes and certificates and will receive discounts for stands at next year’s North Devon Show.