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Northumbria in Bloom 2019 results

One of the exotic-looking roundabouts in Durham City. Picture; RHS
One of the exotic-looking roundabouts in Durham City in 2018. Picture; RHS

Honours for Tanfield, Durham, Seaham, Washington Village, Sedgefield, Morpeth, Bishop Auckland and Darlington

The results are in for 2019’s Northumbria in Bloom, the biggest gardening contest in the UK, run by the RHS, and there is plenty for gardeners to celebrate in North-East England. Here’s what the medals mean:

  • Gold – outstanding
  • Silver Gilt – very good
  • Silver – good
  • Bronze – average
  • Merit – Fair

Main Northumbria in Bloom Awards

BEST OVERALL ENTRY: The Percy Boydell Award – TANFIELD, COUNTY DURHAM

Tanfield has a history dating to Saxon times and Tanfield in Bloom is the driving force bringing the community together, young and old. It has lifted the image of the village giving everyone a sense of pride and achievement as it progressed each year to gold medal level and now The Percy Boydell Trophy.

MOST IMPROVED ENTRY: SEAHAM, COUNTY DURHAM

A vibrant seaside town with a proud past that is creatively re-inventing itself. Different horticultural styles are evident and the art in the landscape celebrates its natural history and social heritage. The excellent Marina provides one of many focal points, along with the Terrace Green and the iconic Tommy statue.

BEST NEW ENTRY: The Whickham Award, MIDDLETON HALL RETIREMENT VILLAGE, DARLINGTON

Middleton Hall Retirement Village is set in 20 acres of formal gardens and lawns with 85 acres of surrounding woodland. The 200 residents are encouraged to get involved with gardening with allotments, the greenhouse, the Mediterranean garden and herbaceous areas. Biodiversity, conservation and recycling issues are also addressed.

SMALL VILLAGES: WINNER, TANFIELD – GOLD

  • Middleton Hall Retirement Village – Gold
  • Ovington – Silver Gilt

VILLAGES: WINNER, WASHINGTON VILLAGE – GOLD

The judges said: “Washington village is an unexpected oasis surrounded by a sea of industrial parks and modern suburbia. Its many trees and beautiful village centre make it easier to believe you are in a much more rural location.”

  • Greatham – Gold
  • Lesbury – Silver Gilt
  • Middleton in Teesdale – Silver Gilt
  • Monkton – Silver
  • Norham – Bronze
  • The Clarences – Bronze

LARGE VILLAGES: WINNER, HOLYWELL

Holywell in the Seaton Valley has a rich mining and farming heritage. The in-Bloom team has 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 fundraisers.

  • Coundon – Silver
  • Fishburn – Silver
  • Ord – Silver
  • Seghill – Silver
The fabulous Tommy statue at Seaham, County Durham
The fabulous Tommy statue at Seaham, County Durham

SMALL TOWNS: WINNER, SEDGEFIELD – GOLD

Sedgefield has a very high reputation to maintain. They ensure inclusion of the residents and children in their work. The Bloom group’s influence and commitment to maintaining the high standards of the town is evident in every aspect.

  • Corbridge – Gold
  • Middleton St George – Silver Gilt
  • Waldridge – Silver Gilt
  • Haltwhistle – Silver
  • Nunthorpe – Silver
  • Sacriston – Silver

TOWNS: WINNER, MORPETH – GOLD

This year is the group’s 21st anniversary. The town has colourful displays of seasonal planting interspersed with permanent planting, particularly on the roundabouts. Considerable effort has gone into ensuring that good environmental practice in water management, recycling, composting and grass cutting is carried out wherever possible.

  • Alnwick – Gold
  • Berwick-upon-Tweed – Gold
  • Hexham – Silver Gilt

LARGE TOWNS: WINNER, BISHOP AUCKLAND – GOLD

The range and scope of the various projects, both planned and existing, is impressive and demonstrates a real commitment to the ethos of Bloom and both its natural and historic environment to the benefit of the wider community.

  • Blyth – Silver Gilt
  • Chester-le-Street – Silver Gilt
  • Stanley – Silver

SMALL CITY: WINNER, DURHAM – GOLD

The magnificent architecture is softened by abundant floral displays and the mature trees in the parks, gardens and colleges suggest a calm green woodland in the city. The move to wildflower planting and the wildlife corridor along the riverbanks benefit the natural world, and trials of battery-powered tools and vehicles demonstrate a commitment to the future.

URBAN COMMUNITY: WINNER, BELMONT – GOLD

The group is very aware of current environmental thinking as shown in the “Scrambles”, and its allotment site and school garden. It provides attractive seasonal bedding for spring and summer, as well as permanent planting areas.

COASTAL RESORT: WINNER, SALTBURN-BY-THE-SEA – GOLD

Environmental responsibility is high on the agenda and its community participation is astonishing in its breadth and depth through-out the town. A top-class entry with many fine features.

  • Seaham – Gold

CITY CENTRE: WINNER, DARLINGTON – SILVER GILT

Darlington is a remarkably green city centre with handsome Victorian architecture and railway heritage, now balanced by a vibrant modern city culture.

  • Sunderland – Silver Gilt

Morpeth, Northumbria in Bloom, summer 2019
Morpeth, Northumbria in Bloom, summer 2019

Special Category Awards

COMMUNITY CHAMPIONS – EDDIE MALARKEY, BELMONT, DURHAM

For a truly outstanding contribution over several years by individuals, whether salaried or volunteer, in support of Northumbria in Bloom.

Eddie has worked for Belmont Parish Council for about 25 years, tending the cemetery and flowerbeds. He encourages engages children and less able residents to get involved in gardening.

COMMUNITY CHAMPIONS – PAM PHILLIPS, MIDDLETON-IN-TEESDALE

Pam has been involved with the Middleton in Teesdale Bloomers for at least 17 years and has been chairwomen for many of those years. Her enthusiasm and commitment are infectious and people in the village often come up to her as we garden and compliment her on how lovely the village is looking, often donating money and/or plants there and then!

COMMUNITY CHAMPIONS: RAYMOND DIXON, MORPETH

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

BEST BUSINESS PARK: NEWCASTLE BUSINESS PARK, NEWCASTLE UPON TYNE – GOLD

Situated on the banks of the River Tyne on the former Armstrong and Whitworth shipyards sites. The creation of the wildflower meadow, wildlife corridor, new herbaceous planting and mainly evergreen shrubberies with cloud pruning were highly praised.

  • Rainton Bridge Business Park, Houghton-le-Spring – Gold

BEST SCHOOL: ABBEYFIELDS FIRST SCHOOL, MORPETH – GOLD

This ‘Forest School’, where outdoor activities including gardening are completely integrated with the teaching environment. The children are very knowledgeable about the plants they are growing.

  • Alnwick, Swansfield Primary School – Gold
  • Belmont, Durham Gilesgate Primary School – Gold
  • Coundon, St. Joseph’s Primary School – Gold
  • Stanley, St. Joseph’s RC Primary School – Gold
  • Sedgefield, Hardwick Primary School – Silver Gilt
  • Corbridge, Corbridge First School Allotment – Silver Gilt

BEST CARE RESIDENTAL CONVALESCENT HOME, HOSPICE OR DAYCARE: ST CUTHBERT’S HOSPICE, DURHAM – GOLD

St Cuthbert’s Sensory Garden uses raised beds to allow easy access to the plants and the water feature is very restful. The greenhouse enables residents to continue to garden no matter what the weather. The produce from the vegetable garden is used in the hospice kitchen and any surplus sold to raise funds.

  • Middleton St. George, Cocks Memorial Homes – Gold
  • Berwick, North Star Adult Centre – Gold
  • Corbridge, Windsor Court – Gold
  • Blyth, Ridley Park Care Home – Silver Gilt
  • Alnwick, Abbeyfield House – Silver Gilt
  • Hexham, Carntyne Care Home – Silver Gilt
  • Holywell, Concorde House Residents – Silver Gilt
  • Morpeth, St. Christopher’s House – Silver Gilt
  • Sedgefield, Memory Café Garden – Silver Gilt
  • Monkton, White House Nursing Home – Silver
  • Stanley, Just for Women Centre – Silver
BEST RELIGIOUS ESTABLISHMENT: ST CUTHBERT’S CATHOLIC CHURCH, CHESTER-LE-STREET – GOLD

An outstanding gem of a garden which has exceptionally high standards of horticulture and throughout its busy grounds.

  • Alnwick Cemetery – Gold
  • Belmont Cemetery – Gold
  • Coundon, Wear Valley Crematorium – Gold
  • Darlington, Atisha Kadampa Buddist Centre – Gold
  • Durham, Dean & Chapter of Durham Cathedral – Gold
  • Hexham, St. Andrew’s Cemetery – Gold
  • Lesbury, St. Mary’s Church – Silver Gilt
  • Morpeth, New Life Christian Centre – Silver Gilt
  • Nunthorpe, St. Mary’s Church – Silver
  • Alnwick, St. Paul’s RC Church – Silver

BEST COMMERCIAL PREMISES: ORD HOUSE COUNTRY PARK – GOLD

This holiday home park is full of wildlife. The information room has wildflower seed for the children to sow and grow.

  • Darlington, Hash Bar and Kitchen – Gold
  • Middleton St. George, Twelve Central – Gold
  • Morpeth, Dobbie’s Garden Centre – Gold
  • Sedgefield, The Manor House – Gold
  • Corbridge, The Garden Room – Silver Gilt
  • Stanley, PACT House, Front Street – Bronze

BEST PUB/HOTEL: RAMSIDE HALL HOTEL, BELMONT – GOLD

The standard of the annual bedding display was excellent with vast areas of multi-coloured bedding all grown and maintained to a very high standard. The hanging baskets were full and large.

  • Darlington, Tapas Bar – Gold
  • Durham, The Court Inn – Gold
  • Haltwhistle, Ashcroft Guesthouse – Gold
  • Hexham, The County Hotel – Gold
  • Sedgefield, The Dun Cow – Gold
  • Warden, The Boatside Inn – Gold
  • Seaham Hall – Gold
  • Alnwick, The John Bull – Silver Gilt
  • Chester-le-Street, Lumley Castle Hotel – Silver Gilt
  • Coundon, Park Head Hotel – Silver Gilt
  • Lesbury, The Coach Inn – Silver Gilt
  • Ovington, The Four Alls – Silver Gilt
  • Washington Village, The Cross Keys – Silver Gilt
  • Middleton in Teesdale, The Teesdale Hotel – Silver
  • Middleton St. George – The Devenport Hotel – Silver
  • Corbridge, The Angel – Silver
  • Morpeth, The Waterford Lodge – Silver
  • Berwick, Maguire’s Bar – Bronze
  • Monkton, Lord Nelson Public House – Bronze

BEST CONSERVATION: BELMONT SCRAMBLES, BELMONT – GOLD

Belmont Scrambles is an urban conservation project with an active Friend’s group and wider community involvement. There have been new developments this year including a wildflower meadow. Native tree planting continues to encourage rare butterflies.

  • Hexham, Wydon Water – Gold
  • Ord, Woodland Walk – Gold
  • Saltburn by the Sea – Friends of the Valley – Gold
  • Washington Village, The Nuttery – Gold
  • Alnwick, Community Orchard – Silver Gilt
  • Bishop Auckland, Auckland Castle Walled Garden – Silver Gilt
  • Alnwick, Lion House – Silver
  • Chester-le-Street, Camperdown Pocket Park – Silver

Britain in BloomBEST BUS/METRO/RAILWAY STATION: SALTBURN RAILWAY STATION – GOLD

This terminus station is attractively decorated with seasonal hanging baskets, knitted art and raised beds to a very high standard.

  • Alnmouth Railway Station – Gold
  • Berwick Transport Hub – Gold
  • Morpeth Bus Station – Gold
  • Durham Railway Station – Silver Gilt
  • Nunthorpe Railway Station – Silver Gilt
  • Haltwhistle Railway Station – Silver

BEST PARK: WHARTON PARK, DURHAM – GOLD

Wharton Park sits on a steeply sloping site which has allowed for the creation of a grass amphitheatre which hosts public events. There is ample habitat for wildlife from the wildflower meadow, the mature trees and the newly opened Community Garden plus thought-provoking sculptures as well as views of Durham Cathedral and Castle.

  • Berwick, Castle Vale Park – Gold
  • Blyth, Ridley Park – Gold
  • Corbridge, Milkwell Park – Gold
  • Morpeth, Carlisle Park – Gold
  • Saltburn-by-the-Sea – The Valley Gardens – Gold
  • Seaham Town Park – Gold
  • Sunderland, Mowbray Park – Gold
  • Chester le Street, Riverside Park – Silver Gilt
  • Darlington, South Park – Silver Gilt
  • Darlington, Eastbourne Park – Silver Gilt
  • Hexham Parks – Silver Gilt
  • Middleton St. George, The Waterpark – Silver

JOINT BEST CITY AND TOWN CENTRES AND BIDS: DURHAM BID – GOLD

Virtually every shop and business frontage are decorated with hanging baskets, window boxes or planters. The high standard of environmental cleanliness making Durham city a very welcoming destination.

SANDERSON ARCADE AND CHAMBER OF TRADE, MORPETH – GOLD

Both Sanderson Arcade and the Chamber of Trade are enthusiastic supporters of Morpeth in Bloom as demonstrated by the abundance of well planted and maintained hanging baskets and planters throughout the town and within the Arcade.

  • Seaham Marina – Gold
  • Seaton Delaval, Town Centre & Roundabout – Gold
  • Hexham Town – Silver Gilt
  • Sunderland BID – Silver

BEST PRIVATE GARDEN: JULIE GRACE PARKER, WALDRIDGE – GOLD

This small private garden has a good mix of perennials, shrubs and small trees, fruits, a well-grown herb bed and a wildflower area.

  • Corbridge, Snowdrop Rise – Gold
  • Durham, Mr Dennis Brown – Gold
  • Middleton St. George, Mr and Mrs Short, Belle Vue Terrace – Gold
  • Ord, Mr and Mrs Sim, Cornwall Avenue – Gold
  • Saltburn, Mr & Mrs Gaunt, Britannia Mansions – Gold
  • Seghill, Mr Malcolm Collins, Whiteford Place – Gold
  • Tanfield, Mrs Densham, Tanfield Villa – Gold
  • Alnwick, 35, Swansfield Park Road – Silver Gilt
  • Coundon, Mr and Mrs Robin Asquith, Fairview Close – Silver Gilt
  • Hexham, Mr Strain, 15 Garden Terrace – Silver Gilt
  • ​Lesbury, Mr Thomas Davison – Silver Gilt
  • Middleton in Teesdale, 4 Chapel Row – Silver
  • Nunthorpe, Mr R. Hawkins – Silver

BEST GROUNDS OF A HOSPITAL, UNIVERSITY OR PUBLIC BUILDING: SUNDERLAND UNIVERSITY – GOLD

The university grounds are bordered by well-maintained grass and seasonal flower beds, which are augmented by rocks and large planters in which orchids had appeared.

  • Corbridge Parish Hall – Gold
  • Durham University – Gold
  • Haltwhistle Memorial Hospital – Gold
  • Hexham General Hospital – Gold
  • Sedgefield, Ceddesfeld Hall – Gold

BEST SPORTS GROUND: HEXHAM GOLF CLUB – GOLD

Hexham Golf Club is striving to help their environment by the use of environmentally friendly practices and encouragement of local wildlife.

  • Alnwick, Willowburn Sports and Leisure Centre – Gold
  • Berwick Bowling Club – Gold
  • Nunthorpe Bowling Club – Gold
  • Haltwhistle Bowling Club – Silver
  • Morpeth Bowling Club – Silver

BEST RESIDENTIAL COMMUNITY: SHANNON COURT, GREATHAM – GOLD

This small, sheltered housing development near the centre of the village has a well-kept central grass area surrounded by bungalows, each one ablaze with colourful plants and shrubs, giving year-round colour and interest.

  • Berwick, Spittal Village – Gold
  • Corbridge, Woodbine Terrace – Gold
  • Hexham, Tanners Row – Gold
  • Middleton in Teesdale, Dale View – Gold
  • Nunthorpe, Bowland Close – Gold
  • Saltburn-by-the-Sea, Huntcliff Court – Gold
  • Washington Village, Liberty Green – Gold
  • Lesbury, Orchard Terrace – Silver Gilt
  • Alnwick, St. Paul’s Court – Silver Gilt
  • Ord, Cornwall Avenue – Silver Gilt
  • Sedgefield, Claremont Residential Community – Silver
  • Stanley, Copper Beech Community Gardens – Silver

BEST ALLOTMENTS: LION ALLOTMENTS, BERWICK – GOLD

Lion Allotments are a historic terraced site and use a minimum of resources. There is a solar-powered/ battery system being introduced to supply rainwater for seedling plant growing.

  • Belmont Allotments – Gold
  • Corbridge, Aydon Road Allotments – Gold
  • Saltburn Allotments – Gold
  • Seaham, Greenscape Allotments – Gold
  • Waldridge Allotments – Gold
  • Alnwick, St James’ Allotments – Silver Gilt
  • Middleton Hall Retirement Village Allotments – Silver Gilt
  • Middleton St George, The Allotment Association – Silver Gilt
  • Durham, St Margaret’s Allotments – Silver

BEST TOURIST OR VISITOR ATTRACTION OR COUNTRY ESTATE: KYNREN, BISHOP AUCKLAND – GOLD

Kynren is a superb haven for wildlife with its abundance of natural and man-made habitats. The whole site has been sensitively landscaped to a very high standard that incorporates horticultural gems utilising a wide variety of native species of plants.

  • Alnwick Garden – Gold
  • Darlington Head of Steam – Gold
  • Durham Botanic Garden – Gold
  • Sedgefield, Hardwick Country Park – Gold
  • Sunderland, Keel Square – Silver
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Mandy Watson is a freelance journalist and an incurable plantaholic. MandyCanUDigIt grew from the tiny seed of a Twitter account into the rainforest of information you see before you. Gardening columnist for the Sunderland Echo, Shields Gazette and Hartlepool Mail and editor of the Teesdale Mercury Magazine. Attracted by anything rebellious, exotic and nerdy, even after all these years. Passionate about northern England and gardens everywhere. Falls over a lot.

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