Community groups gain rewards for hard work

Community groups across north Northumberland have been recognised for their voluntary efforts in the Northumbria in Bloom It’s Your Neighbourhood Awards.

Groups from across the region entered the scheme, which gives five gradings - establishing, improving, developing, thriving and outstanding.

The Royal Horticultural Society and Northumbria in Bloom presented "It's Your Neighbourhood" awards at a ceremony in Ponteland recently.   There are five categories:'Establishing : Improving : Developing : Thriving and Outstanding.  Pictured are the residents of Greensfield Close, Warkworth who were awarded "Outstanding".'The judges comments included "A beautifully kept cul de sac where each householder works equally hard to maintain this delightful site" ; "Stunning floral impact both in Spring and Summer" ; "Residents also help to keep the public roadside verges mown and cared for" and "Maintenance of both beds and grass is faultless. Beautifully clipped edges and pruned shrubs".'One of the residents, Fred Calvert, told the Gazette : "This is the first time we have entered this competition and we are all delighted to have achieved an 'Outstanding' category.  Special mention must be made of John Howie who regularly mows the roadside verges which does much to enhance this entrance to the village".'Pictured (L

The Royal Horticultural Society and Northumbria in Bloom presented "It's Your Neighbourhood" awards at a ceremony in Ponteland recently. There are five categories:'Establishing : Improving : Developing : Thriving and Outstanding. Pictured are the residents of Greensfield Close, Warkworth who were awarded "Outstanding".'The judges comments included "A beautifully kept cul de sac where each householder works equally hard to maintain this delightful site" ; "Stunning floral impact both in Spring and Summer" ; "Residents also help to keep the public roadside verges mown and cared for" and "Maintenance of both beds and grass is faultless. Beautifully clipped edges and pruned shrubs".'One of the residents, Fred Calvert, told the Gazette : "This is the first time we have entered this competition and we are all delighted to have achieved an 'Outstanding' category. Special mention must be made of John Howie who regularly mows the roadside verges which does much to enhance this entrance to the village".'Pictured (L

In our region, 29 groups and committees have been recognised, 23 of which were in Alnwick. Seven of them received the highest rating of outstanding, 13 were thriving, two developing and one improving.

Sponsored by the Royal Horticultural Society (RHS) and run by Northumbria in Bloom (NiB), the In Your Neighbourhood (IYN) awards recognise the efforts of voluntary groups and individuals.

Chairman Elizabeth Jones said: “It is all about gardening together in the community, where someone has seen the glorious potential in an unappreciated patch or eyed up an eyesore and said ‘I can’t stand it, something must be done‘. In Alnwick there are many examples of just that and the RHS’s scheme has celebrated them.

“Alnwick in Bloom knows Alnwick pretty well, but not every twist and turn. If you know or live close to a possible It’s Your Neighbourhood patch let us know, see if we can help and join in the fun of getting it right.”

Aln Valley Railway pick up their thriving certificate in the In Your Neighbourhood awards

Aln Valley Railway pick up their thriving certificate in the In Your Neighbourhood awards

Alnwick in Bloom is holding an IYN presentation at 4pm on Thursday, December 4, at the Mechanics Institute, particularly for those who were unable to attend the NiB ceremony.

Anyone who has an unloved space that they want to turn into a great space is welcome to go along and tell the team about it.

Among those receiving awards was Aln Valley Railway (AVR) who were given a thriving certificate. Ron Bernstein said: “On behalf of the whole gardening team and the AVR project as a whole we were delighted to receive a ‘thriving’ certification, this being just one level down from the top standard achievable.

“It was particularly pleasing to achieve this award as we were among far larger and more well-established entrants and for our efforts to be recognised by no less than the Royal Horticultural Society, is praise indeed.”

Grass beds work at the Column Field

Grass beds work at the Column Field

In Warkworth, Greensfield Close and the Act Now Community Garden were awarded outstanding.

Greensfield resident Fred Calvert said: “This is the first time we have entered this competition and we are all delighted to have achieved an outstanding category. Special mention must be made of John Howie who regularly mows the roadside verges which does much to enhance this entrance to the village.”

Winners’ roll-call

A Day to Make a Difference (entrance to Alnwick Garden) – thriving; Act Now Community Garden, Warkworth – thriving; Aln Valley Railway, Alnwick – thriving; Alnwick Garden Gardening Volunteers – outstanding; Armstrong Place, Alnwick – thriving.

Gardener's Cottage, Alnwick

Gardener's Cottage, Alnwick

Barter Books, Alnwick – thriving; Bridge End Park, Wooler – outstanding; Clifton Terrace, Alnwick – thriving; Column Cottage, Alnwick – thriving; Column Field grass beds renewal, Alnwick – thriving; Cragside Gardening Volunteers, Rothbury – outstanding.

Friends of Alnmouth Station – outstanding; Friends of Green Batt Garden, Alnwick – outstanding; Friends of the Bullfield Community Orchard, Alnwick – thriving; Friends of the Cemetery, Alnwick – outstanding; Friends of the Column Field, Alnwick – thriving.

Graham’s Yard, Alnwick – outstanding; Greensfield Close, Warkworth – outstanding; Hope House Allotments, Alnwick – thriving; Physic Garden, Infirmary Drive, Alnwick – thriving; St George’s Allotments, Alnwick – developing; St James’ Allotments, Alnwick – outstanding; St Paul’s Court, Alnwick – outstanding.

The Dunterns Allotments, Alnwick – developing; The Gardener’s House, Alnwick – thriving; The Gardening Volunteers at Howick Garden – outstanding; The Pinfold, Alnwick – thriving; Thomas Percy Woodland, Alnwick – improving; Three Tuns Lane, Alnwick – thriving.

Halifax's Day to Make a Difference team at the entrance to Alnwick Garden.

Halifax's Day to Make a Difference team at the entrance to Alnwick Garden.

St Paul's Court scheme manager Joan Brown, Ellen Ridley, Doreen Forster and Rita Hall with the award.

St Paul's Court scheme manager Joan Brown, Ellen Ridley, Doreen Forster and Rita Hall with the award.