PONTELAND is celebrating success in this year’s Britain in Bloom awards after winning gold in the small town category.

Months of hard work and dedication paid off and the judges were particularly impressed with the stand-out First World War floral poppy display on Coates Green and the sensory garden on Main Street.

A bug hotel created by pupils from the town’s schools demonstrated the diversity of displays created by the community.

Royal Horticultural Society (RHS) judges visited the town on Friday, August 3, and were impressed by the colourful floral displays and general cleanliness of Ponteland and Darras Hall.

Ponteland town councillor Christine Caisley travelled to the awards ceremony in Belfast last Friday.

“Ahead of the results night, we were hopeful but still unsure about whether we stood a realistic chance, “ she said.

“The win was really an extended collective community effort – from local businesses and the schools to the parks and allotments.

“We are extremely grateful for everyone’s hard work and dedication.”

Former town councillor Elizabeth Thompson was also praised for raising the idea of the sensory garden.

Ponteland secured a silver gilt award in the small towns category of Britain in Bloom last year with its first entry in the competition.

The award followed five consecutive golds in the small towns category of the Northumbria in Bloom contest.

Coun Caisley added: “We took the judges’ advice from last year and hoped it paid off.

“It’s very heavy going to prepare for the awards, so to produce displays and be considered two years in a row is impressive.”

RHS Britain in Bloom is the largest horticultural campaign in the United Kingdom.

More than 1,600 communities enter each year, and groups are assessed for their achievements in: horticultural excellence; environmental responsibility and community participation.