COMMUNITIES and schools across the Hartlepool Mail area are celebrating after winning a host of honours in a prestigious gardening competition.
A record number of top awards were presented in this year’s Northumbria In Bloom competition after children and volunteers worked hard to brighten up where they live and work.
Residents and gardeners of Shannon Court in Greatham, which is part of the Hospital of God estate, were celebrating after they won a gold award in the Combined Efforts of Residents of a Community section.
Greatham village as a whole was awarded a silver gilt.
Volunteers failed to recapture last year’s gold success but local organisers remained upbeat.
Brian Walker, of the Greatham In Bloom committee said: “It is a very worthwhile initiative as it gives us a focus for our efforts in the village otherwise things wouldn’t get done.”
The awards were held at Sunderland FC’s Stadium of Light after judges visited more than 70 places in the spring and summer.
Horden In Bloom volunteers were present to pick up a silver for the village.
Yohden Primary School not only won a gold award in the Growing Together schools gardening category, but also scooped the Cowells Garden Centre trophy for horticultural excellence.
Wolviston Primary School also won a gold award in the Growing Together campaign.
The Warren House Gill Reed Bed site won a gold award in the best conservation category at its first attempt.
The site has been developed by the Coal Authority to replace the mine water treatment site previously at Horden and is an asset to the Durham Heritage Coast footpath.
The Welfare Park,looked after by Horden Parish Council, was awarded a gold award at its first attempt.
Sedgefield won the Percy Boydell Trophy for Overall Best Entry to add to their already distinguished list of achievements.
The community also bagged the trophy for Best Small Town and a Gold medal certificate,
Competition judges described Sedgefield’s entry as “outstanding, deservedly gaining full marks in most sections.”
Volunteers were praised for how well they work together and the amount of careful planning that goes into improving the town’s horticulture.