Budding gardeners in Chester-le-Street are being encouraged to showcase their skills in a competition which aims to create a more attractive environment within the town.

Chester’s Best, which was held for the first time last year, is open to residents and organisations in the Chester-le-Street and District AAP area and celebrates floral displays and environmental improvements in the community.

Individuals, allotment holders, groups and businesses can all take part in the competition, which is jointly run by Durham County Council and the AAP.

Those without gardens can also join in by displaying plant pots, window boxes or hanging baskets as long as they are viewable from a public highway or footpath.

This year’s categories are:

  • Business frontage/floral display
  • Group project to improve an area
  • Neighbourhood area
  • Residential garden
  • Allotment/kitchen garden
  • School, nursery or young people’s club garden or group project

Judging will take place in July, and judges may also make a number of special, discretionary awards.

Cllr Brian Stephens, Cabinet member for neighbourhoods and local partnerships, said: “Last year’s competition was a great success and we are delighted it is returning for a second year.

“Seeing so many people giving up their time to help improve their town and make it a more attractive place to live is wonderful and we are confident even more individuals will get involved this time around.”

Entry to the awards is free and can be made by visiting www.durham.gov.uk/chestersbest, emailing civicpride@durham.gov.uk or calling 03000 260 000 to request an entry form.

Alternatively, pick up a paper entry form from the One Point Hub at Burns Green in Chester-le-Street.

The awards will be presented at a ceremony in October 2018.