Park celebrating gold award in competition

Mark Leslie, Steve Johnson, Jimmy Reith and Mike Jeffrey, Leanne Thompson and Samantha Goodlet from Northern Butterflies, George Robson from the Friends of Ridley Park, Coun Ian Swithenbank, policy board member responsible for parks at the county council, and Coun Eileen Cartie.
Mark Leslie, Steve Johnson, Jimmy Reith and Mike Jeffrey, Leanne Thompson and Samantha Goodlet from Northern Butterflies, George Robson from the Friends of Ridley Park, Coun Ian Swithenbank, policy board member responsible for parks at the county council, and Coun Eileen Cartie.
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A popular park has picked up the gold award in the parks category of the Northumbria in Bloom awards 2014.

Blyth’s Ridley Park faced strong competition from parks across the region, including in Washington, Hordon and Sunderland, and the other joint winner was Mowbray Park in Sunderland.

The park, on Belgrave Crescent in Blyth, offers a range of facilities including tennis courts, a bowling green, a children’s play area with water feature, a café, and attractive green open spaces.

Northumbria in Bloom judges said: “Ridley Park is an outstanding example of a civic town park. It is well planned and maintained, has a wide range of planting styles, good leisure amenities, ‘art in the landscape’ and an active friends group who have recently renovated the pavilion.”

Coun Ian Swithenbank, policy board member responsible for streetcare and environment at Northumberland County Council, said: “The Northumbria in Bloom competition is a fantastic catalyst for communities pulling together, often along with the council, to make a real difference in their local areas.

“We are very proud of what had been achieved at Ridley Park, and I would like to thank and congratulate our council team and everyone from the local community who has contributed to the vibrancy of the park.”

Ridley Park was established in 1904 on land donated by Viscount Matthew White Ridley, and now has well established formal gardens and wooded areas.

A recent addition has been the development of wild flower areas in two locations, and a nectar bed for insects, which will provide a valuable haven for native flora and fauna in future years.

For those looking for refreshment while visiting the park there is a café offering food and drink throughout the year and during the summer an ice cream van is on site most days.