Two Northumberland towns have been awarded gold awards in recognition of their fantastic entries for the prestigious Britain in Bloom competition. Ponteland and Morpeth both picked up the awards at the presentation ceremony in Belfast.
Britain in Bloom is an annual competition run by the Royal Horticultural Society which recognises towns and communities for their floral displays and landscaping. Judges also mark entrants for environmental responsibility and how they use horticulture to bring communities together.
Ponteland were given a gold award in the Small Towns category while Morpeth received gold in the Towns category. Both towns brought together community groups including schools, businesses and voluntary organisations to make the towns look stunning over the summer. Judges also commented how entrants performed well despite immense challenges they faced from the environment. Britain had an unusually cold winter and the Beast from the East made growing conditions in the early season difficult. The summer was also one of the hottest on record meaning extra effort was required to maintain the plants at their best.
Mayor of Morpeth Councillor Jack Gebhard received the award on behalf of the town. He said:
“We were in a really competitive category this year as five other towns received top awards. We also gave a big cheer at the awards ceremony for our neighbours in Ponteland. They also had tough competition but came away with a top award.
“The judges pointed out how impressed they were by how we engaged the community and how all of our partners contributed to an outstanding effort. On behalf of the Town Council I’d like to thank everyone who contributed including Morpeth and District Chamber of Trade, the County Council, Sanderson Arcade and all of the other groups.
“A special thanks must also go to Heighley Gate garden centre who provided the flowers and whose hardworking staff provided the expertise that took us from good to outstanding.”