Town hopes its bloomed at right time

Floral displays in Morpeth which townsfolk hope will impress judges from the Britain in Bloom competition.
Floral displays in Morpeth which townsfolk hope will impress judges from the Britain in Bloom competition.

TOWNSFOLK are hoping their blooming efforts will be enough to impress judges and win that elusive title.

Judges from the RHS Britain in Bloom awards have been to Morpeth as well as the village of Warkworth in north Northumberland.

Both towns were successful in reaching standards fit for national recognition in the ultimate gardening challenge that aims to find Britain’s most beautiful and environmentally responsible locations.

Morpeth is featuring in the competition for the fourth time in five years while Warkworth is looking to build on last year’s Silver Gilt.

Judges for the best town category were in Morpeth last week while judging for best large village took place in Warkworth on Monday.

Morpeth Town Council clerk Gillian Turner said: “Morpeth is once again hoping to gain the elusive title in this national competition.

“We are so fortunate to have many supporters whose special endeavours mean that there are many new interesting and exciting projects to show the judges, with a great emphasis on sustainability and environmental awareness.

“From new planters made from recycled materials in the Market Place and new trees planted in the William Turner garden, to the transformation of the garden at Benmar House and the usual abundance of hanging baskets and planters, the judges can’t have failed to be impressed.

“All of our partners working together including the schools, many community groups, Chamber of Trade, Heighley Gate Centre, Morpeth Town Council and Northumberland County Council make us a force to be reckoned with.”

Andy Rutherford, head of highways and neighbourhood services at the county council, said: “It is a huge accolade for these communities and for Northumberland to achieve such opportunities on a national stage.

“Even in these austere times the council is pleased to be able to continue to support the efforts of communities who take part in the in bloom competitions.”

In Morpeth, the much-admired wooden planters in the Market Square have been replaced by new ones made from recycled plastic containers.

All nine local schools have taken up the challenge to create designs which will be digitally transferred on to the panels.

In a year of ‘commemorations’, Morpeth Lions have planted 40 trees in the William Turner Garden to mark their 40th Anniversary while Morpeth Soroptimists have planted daffodils and scilla, and an abundance of wildflowers will be appearing at Deuchar Park, Leslie’s View and St James’ Church.