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Northumbria in Bloom 2019 awards and results

Bishop's mitre in Durham Market Place. Picture; RHS/Mark Pinder
Bishop's mitre in Durham Market Place. Picture; RHS/Mark Pinder

Durham wins gold in Champion of Champions category

North East England’s community gardeners are celebrating after walking away with a haul of medals in the RHS’s Britain in Bloom competition, announced at a ceremony last night (October 25).

Five finalists represented the region following success in the Northumbria in Bloom competition or UK finals last year. A total of 68 groups from across the UK competed in 12 categories with each also vying for a gold, silver gilt, silver or bronze medal.

The city of Durham was awarded a gold medal in the prestigious Champion of Champions category, narrowly missing out on winning the top title to the Scottish city of Perth.

Durham impressed with its spectacular 3D floral displays, including a Bishop’s Mitre, and three St Cuthbert’s crosses, “excellent” Wharton Park community garden and pollinator-friendly roundabout plantings.

Exotics in Durham City. Picture; RHS/Mark Pinder
Exotics in Durham City. Picture; RHS/Mark Pinder

Community Champion award

The judges also praised the city’s commitment to helping a new generation of gardeners gain horticultural skills and qualifications, with volunteer Ron Potter and his work to get school pupils food growing singled out for a Community Champion award.

Market town Morpeth, Sedgefield and former mining village Tanfield also scooped gold medals for the exceptional standard of their entries.

In addition, Tanfield won the Wild About Gardens award for its efforts to encourage wildlife including through pollen and nectar-rich planting and the installation of bat boxes and hedgehog shelters.

The full results for the RHS Britain in Bloom finalists representing Northumbria are:





Champion of Champions


Community Champion Award: Ron Potter





Small Town





Discretionary Award:
Wild About Gardens



Silver Gilt


Finalists are judged not only on their floral displays but environmental and community efforts. Each was visited by a pair of RHS judges over a fortnight from the end of July.

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

Darren Share, chairman of the RHS Britain in Bloom judges, said: “Congratulations to all of this year’s UK finalists. It’s incredibly humbling to hear about the huge efforts they’ve invested in making our villages, towns and cities greener places to live, work and visit.

“This makes a tremendous difference locally but has a wider impact too.

“Gardeners are increasingly having to respond to the changing climate, declining pollinator numbers and plastic waste and more communities are galvanizing people around these issues to bring about positive change.”

The Northumbria finalists collected their awards from Baroness Floella Benjamin, RHS vice-president, at the ceremony held in the RHS Lindley Hall, London.

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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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