Berwick was rewarded for its efforts when it received nine accolades at the annual Northumbria in Bloom awards ceremony.
The town entry, which includes Tweedmouth and Spittal, achieved a very creditable Silver Gilt.
The three judges, who visited the town in both the spring and summer, noted the significant improvements that had been made between the two visits in both the range and nature of the planting and the new tiered planters and barrier baskets that are an asset to the Castlegate area.
These and the other new planters throughout the town were paid for by the Chamber of Trade, Jus-Rol and money from the Portas fund.
The judges in their comments are encouraging the group to ‘continue to engage with businesses, particularly retailers, to participate in the competition’.
Berwick Town Council and Berwick in Bloom hope to repeat the floral competition, held for the first time this year, which hopefully will do exactly what the judges are recommending.
Judging is not restricted to horticultural achievement but includes how environmental responsibility is recognised and the town’s areas were praised for their interpretative boards although further work is required on composting and water harvesting schemes and the condition of the street furniture in some areas.
Chairman of the group, Bernard Shaw, said the success was a tribute to all the hard work undertaken by the volunteers in the group, individuals, organisations and businesses who have contributed to the colourful displays which have enhanced the town and helped to make Berwick an attractive place in which to live, work and visit.
The town council provides financial support for the purchase of plants and the maintenance, the printing of the Portfolio and the transport for the judges.
Northumberland County Council employees are able to assist Berwick in Bloom and made a real effort to ensure that the areas of the ‘judging route’ for which they have responsibility were as neat and tidy as possible on judging day.
The competition allows for entries to the Special Award Category and this is where Berwick achieved its other successes.
Berwick Bowling Club achieved a gold in the sports ground section.
The Greenses also achieved a gold in the residential communities category, partly because of the well-named and designed Haven area.
A third gold was won by the Lion Allotments. Their success was based on them being ‘a really good example of a vital land use which is well integrated and quietly woven into the fabric of the historic town’.
Ord Country Park achieved gold in the commercial premises category. The area is immaculately maintained by groundsmen and volunteers. Its pond area was also highly praised.
The significant financial investment into the planning of the layout and planting of a topographical challenging setting created a very high standard of design in Castle Vale Park and enabled the area to achieve a gold this year.
Elsewhere, Berwick transport interchange and Maguire’s Bar won silver gilts and Garden House Care Home got a silver.
To get involved with Berwick in Bloom next year, contact 01289 308005.