Blyth group loving recognition for their efforts

The Friends of Ridley Park's Fiona Gibson, John Whittle, Ann Whittle,and Ken Hood with The Duchess of Northumberland at the LOVE Northumberland awards. Picture by Andrew Bryson.
The Friends of Ridley Park's Fiona Gibson, John Whittle, Ann Whittle,and Ken Hood with The Duchess of Northumberland at the LOVE Northumberland awards. Picture by Andrew Bryson.

A group helping improve a Blyth park for the local community has been honoured at a local awards celebration.

The Friends of Ridley Park were among the winners at the LOVE Northumberland awards held at Alnwick Garden.

The bird screen and feeding area at Ridley Park, Blyth.

The bird screen and feeding area at Ridley Park, Blyth.

The awards, promoted by Northumberland County Council, help recognise the projects that preserve and improve the environment, promote community spirit and pride in the county.

At the ceremony, the Friends of Ridley Park won ‘Best Urban Project’ for their recently erected bird screen and feeding area, being presented with their award by Her Grace the Duchess of Northumberland.

From conception to completion in less than a year, the Friends group designed and built an impressive screen and viewing area in Ridley Park complete with a disabled access ramp.

Around £6,000 was raised in total, including contributions from Blyth Town Council, Northumberland County Council together with individual donations and fundraising events by the friends.

Local mental health charity Blyth Star Enterprise built the screen while local contractor JW Colpitts fabricated and installed the access ramp.

Local volunteer, Ken Hood was responsible for building the decking and rear curtain screen.

The screen has been very well received by park users.

It has not only added to the range of facilities found in the park but had brightened up a dark and under-used corner of the park.

A spokesperson for the Friends of Ridley Park said: “The screen and bird feeding area are proving to be very popular in promoting positive nature experiences and helping people to connect with nature.

“Watching and listening to birds is not only pleasurable but helps to recover from mental fatigue and stress.

“It not only has human benefits but anecdotal evidence suggests that there far more birds present in the park.”