A festival celebrating the British cucumber and the huge contribution the area makes to the crop is up for a national award.

The Great British Cucumber Festival, which has been held in Waltham Abbey for the past two years, is through to the regional finals of the Countryside Alliance Awards.

Lee Stiles, secretary of the Lee Valley Growers Association, which organises the event in Abbey Gardens, said it had stemmed from the outbreak of e-coli in Europe in 2011.

He added: “It had a massive knock-on effect for UK sales.

“The district council approached us and asked if it would be a good idea to hold a festival to raise awareness of Lee Valley growers, who produce nearly three quarters of the UK’s cucumbers.

“The festival turned out to be excellent and we made a lot of local people aware of the industry.”

The association will find out if the festival is through to the national finals next month.