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County strikes gold in green awards

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The county is once again celebrating Northumberland’s success in this year’s Northumbria in Bloom Awards.

Morpeth was declared Gold winner as Best Town, while Holywell scooped Gold in the Large Villages category.

Green fingered Northumbrians did the county proud again as they collected a string of awards after impressing judges in this year’s Northumbria in Bloom competition.

Dozens of  towns, villages and businesses showed off their floral displays, summer planting and well tended parks and gardens in the competition which has seen communities, town and parish councils and county council staff pull together to show off local neighbourhoods at their best.

Morpeth was again declared overall winner in the towns category, with judge’s commenting: “Morpeth continues to demonstrate a consistently high standard in meeting the requirements of the Northumbria in Bloom judging criteria. This has been achieved by having a close working relationship between the various partner organisations developed over many years.”

Awarding Holywell Gold, the judges said: “The in-Bloom team have worked hard to make the village a colourful and neat and tidy environment. They have achieved brilliant results with the help of community volunteers and are very talented fund raisers to aid their cause.”

In the Small Villages category, Ovington was awarded a Silver Gilt and in the Villages category Lesbury won Silver Gilt and Norham Bronze. Ord and Seghill also received Silver in the Large Villages category.

In the small Towns category, Corbridge won a gold award while Haltwhistle got a silver.

There was a clean sweep for the county in the Towns category – as well as Morpeth winning, there were gold awards for Alnwick and Berwick and a Silver Gilt for Hexham. In the Large Towns category Blyth won a Silver Gilt.

In the special category awards, Raymond Dixon from Morpeth won a Community Champion Award for a ‘truly outstanding contribution’ in support of Northumbria in Bloom over several years. 

Raymond has worked in horticulture since the age of 16 and has been looking after the planting in Sanderson Arcade since 2010. 

Judges commented: “Year after year Raymond’s drive and vision has taken the centre from an obvious new build development into a horticultural delight.

“He goes the extra mile to ensure the service he provides is first class and his beautiful work is regularly praised by residents and visitors alike.”

Abbeyfields First School received a gold in the schools category, Ord House Country Park in Berwick was named best commercial premises while the Sanderson Arcade and Chamber of Trade in Morpeth scooped a gold in the Joint Best Town Centres category.

Hexham Golf Club was declared best sports ground while the Lion Allotments in Berwick won in the Best Allotments category.

Councillor Glen Sanderson, cabinet member for environment and local services at Northumberland County Council, said: “These parks and public spaces look and feel wonderful places because of the time and effort that goes into tending and caring for them. 

“Our staff and all the volunteers who give their time have done a magnificent job and that is reflected in these awards.

“I am very grateful to everyone involved for everything they do in making these places that everyone can enjoy and feel proud of.”

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