Green-fingered gardeners have been recognised for their work in ensuring their town is an attractive place to live and visit.

Winners of the first ‘Chester’s Best’ competition, which was organised by Durham County Council and Chester-le-Street and District AAP, were announced last week at a ceremony held at the Emirates Riverside Cricket Ground.

In the Residential Garden category, 14 gold awards were handed out, while six people were given silver gilt, eight received silver and one took home bronze.

A gold award was also presented to Newfield and Pelton Lane Ends Residents Association in the Group category while Waldridge in Bloom attained a gold award for Best Neighbourhood Area.

Oliver Sherratt, Durham County Council’s head of direct services, said: “The awards ceremony was a great way to recognise all of the hard work and dedication that people have put into making Chester-le-Street a more attractive place to live.

“The winners should be very proud of all they do to improve their local community and we hope it encourages other people to follow in their footsteps.”

The competition was introduced earlier this year to celebrate and encourage impressive floral displays and environmental improvements in the area and was open to individuals, allotment holders, groups and businesses.

The awards were presented by Chairman of Durham County Council, Cllr Bill Kellett.

Derek Briggs, chair of the APP Environment Task Group, said: “I am amazed at the amount of people who entered the competition and the variety of ways in which they have improved their front gardens and community spaces as well as maintaining their allotments and business frontages.

“It really gives you heart to see all of this work taking place and we hope to continue this and recognise even more people making a difference in our area.”

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