GREEN-fingered residents who have helped create a heavenly haven have got their hands on a prestigious award.
The Friends of Brierdene have been awarded the Whitley Bay Town Cup in recognition of their conservation work over the last 12 months and since the group started in October 2006.
The local volunteers are aiming to restore and improve the biodiversity in the dene, which stretches from the Links to Whitley Bay Golf Club, and have had a lot of success over the years attracting mammals, birds and wildflowers – as well as four times as many visitors.
Over the years, and with support of North Tyneside Council, the volunteers have cleared brambles and litter from the area; planted flowers, grasses and trees; repaired footpaths and replaced old bridges to attract more visitors.
And their efforts were rewarded last week when they were presented with the Town Cup at a North Tyneside Council meeting.
Tony Lister, chairman of Friends of Brierdene, said: “It’s a great honour to win this award, especially as it follows the ‘outstanding’ rating given by the Royal Horticultural Society in Northumbria in Bloom.
“With help from North Tyneside Council, the group has put in a great deal of time and effort to turn the Dene into an attractive area for people to visit, but our hard work won’t stop now.
“We’ll continue to improve the area so it keeps its Site of Nature Conservation Interest status, and ensure it remains an area of natural beauty for future generations to enjoy.”
Council chairman Coun Duncan McLellan presented the trophy.
He said: “The Friends of Brierdene are certainly worthy winners.
“North Tyneside Council has supported the group by supplying some of the trees, meadow seeds, wild flower plugs and skips.
“But without the group’s hard work and determination, the Dene would not look as spectacular as it does now.”
Previous winners of the cup, which dates back to 1954, include Whitley Bay Football Club, the Royal British Legion and the North Sea Volunteer Lifeguards.