Green-fingered gardeners are celebrating after a ceremony revealed the winners of the ‘Beautiful Durham’ competition.

The scheme, hosted by Durham County Council, encourages residents, businesses, schools and community groups to brighten up their properties or public spaces in Durham City and surrounding villages.

Now in its 32nd consecutive year, Beautiful Durham encouraged an array of attractive floral displays and environmental improvements to provide a burst of colour to local communities.

All entries contributed to the overall efforts of the city in the Royal Horticultural Society (RHS) Northumbria in Bloom competition, where only last month Durham City won Gold and category winner in the Small City category and the Percy Boydell Trophy for best overall entry.

Consisting of 13 categories, Beautiful Durham also has an additional judges’ discretionary award category for outstanding effort.

The best overall entry award was won by Fred and Bonny Bainbridge from Brancepeth, while special recognition for enthusiasm and commitment was given to Adam Foster for Sherburn Primary School.

Judging took place in July and assessments considered various criteria including visual impact, colour/texture, presentation, maintenance, environmental awareness and where applicable, community involvement.

Cllr Bill Kellett, Chairman of the Council and Mayor of Durham City, presented the certificates and trophies.

“I am delighted to present these awards which recognise those who have made an excellent contribution to their local environment,” he said.

“This competition enables local amateur gardeners to showcase their greener credentials and all those who have taken part should be proud of their hard work over the last year.”

Cllr Brian Stephens, Cabinet member for neighbourhoods and local partnerships, said: “Thank you to everyone who took part in the annual Beautiful Durham competition, which continues to go from strength to strength.

“I’m sure most people would agree all entries are winners, as they have helped make Durham and surrounding villages such an attractive place to live, study, work and visit.”

Beautiful Durham 2017 winners:

Best business premises

Court Inn, Durham – Winner

Daleside Arms, Croxdale – Special commendation

Finchale Abbey Village, Brasside – Special commendation

Finchale View Riding School, Leamside – Special commendation

Best group horticultural project

Sherburn Primary School (Village site) – Winner

Belmont Allotments Club – Special commendation

Durham Gilesgate Primary School Community Allotment – Special commendation

Ethicare Hub Sensory Allotment, Gilesgate – Special commendation

Finchale View Riding School, Leamside – Special commendation

Salvation Army, Christopher Carman, Sherburn Hill – Special commendation

Sherburn Village Bowling Club – Special commendation  

St Mary’s Church, West Rainton – Certificate of merit

Best sheltered accommodation

Sherburn Hospital Care Home – Winner

The Orchards, Brandon – Special commendation

Durham’s best kept residential area

Finchale Abbey Village, Brasside – Winner

Best floral containers

Margaret Hands, Framwellgate Moor – Joint Winner

Janet Jury, Kelloe – Joint Winner

  1. Crago, Sherburn Village – Special commendation

Wendy Davison, Witton Gilbert – Special commendation

Finchale Abbey Village, Brasside – Special commendation

Finchale View Riding School, Leamside – Special commendation

Christopher Michael Horton, Brandon – Special commendation

Faezah Maria Kirk, Kelloe – Special commendation

The Orchards, Brandon – Special commendation

Brenda Turnbull, Kelloe – Special commendation

West Rainton and Leamside Partnership – Special commendation

Brandon and Byshottles Parish Council, Langley Moor – Certificate of merit

Brandon and Byshottles Parish Council, Waterhouses Village Hall – Certificate of merit

Best house garden – small

Wendy Davison, Witton Gilbert – Winner

Frank Barrass, Sherburn Village – Special commendation  

Finchale Abbey Village, Brasside, Plot 38 – Special commendation

Janis Hunter, Kelloe – Special commendation

Faezah Maria Kirk, Kelloe – Special commendation

Alan Rowell, Belmont – Special commendation

Brenda Turnbull, Kelloe – Special commendation

Dennis Hughes, Ludworth – Certificate of merit

Best house garden – medium

Philip M P Wall, Belmont – Winner

Dennis Brown, Durham – Special commendation

Margaret Hands, Framwellgate Moor – special commendation

Janet Jury, Kelloe – special commendation

Dennis Hughes, Ludworth – Special commendation

Kathleen Tweddle, West Rainton – Certificate of merit

Best house garden – large

Fred and Bonny Bainbridge, Brancepeth – Winner

Christine and John Deller, Shincliffe Village – Special commendation

David and Geraldine Huntley, Durham – Special commendation

Mr and Mrs Young, High Wooley – Special commendation

Jean Ritchie and Maria Morritt, Ushaw Moor – Certificate of merit

Best back yard or patio garden

Faezah Maria Kirk, Kelloe – Winner

Finchale View Riding School, Leamside – Special commendation

Janis Hunter, Kelloe – Special commendation

Alan Rowell, Belmont – Special commendation

Jean Ritchie and Maria Morritt, Ushaw Moor – Certificate of merit

Best allotment or kitchen garden

Ann Shilton, Belmont – Winner

Kathryn, Martin, Daniel, Jack and Elijah Cann, Durham – Special commendation

Jane Draper, Belmont – Special commendation

Colin Hancock, Belmont – Special commendation

Ron Potter, Belmont – Special commendation

Alan Rowell, Belmont – Special commendation

Diana Snowdon, Waterhouses – Special commendation

Richard Hockin, West Rainton – Certificate of merit

Best small village

Shincliffe Village – Winner

Best Village

High Shincliffe – Winner

Best Large Village

Sherburn Village Parish Council – Winner

Belmont Parish Council – Special commendation

Brandon and Byshottles Parish Council, Broompark – Certificate of merit

West Rainton and Leamside Partnership – Certificate of merit

Judges’ Discretionary Awards

Best Environmental Improvement Award

St Mary’s Church, West Rainton

Best New Entry

Ethicare Hub Sensory Allotment, Gilesgate

Special recognition for plantmanship

Dennis Brown, Durham

Most wildlife friendly garden

Dennis Hughes, Ludworth

Special recognition for enthusiasm and commitment

Adam Foster – Sherburn Primary School (Village site)

Best overall entry

Fred and Bonny Bainbridge, Brancepeth

This year’s competition was sponsored by:

Belmont Parish Council

Brandon and Byshottles Parish Council

Croxdale and Hett Parish Council

Belmont Allotments Club

Poplar Tree Garden Centre

The Court Inn, Durham

For more information visit www.durham.gov.uk/beautifuldurham or call 03000 261 000.