Environmental group honoured

A BOROUGH organisation is celebrating success in a regional horticultural competition.

The Friends of Brierdene were deemed ‘outstanding’ in this year’s Royal Horticultural Society’s It’s Your Neighbourhood campaign.

A total of 46 community groups in the north east were assessed during the summer and were awarded their certificates of achievement at a ceremony in Durham Town Hall on Tuesday night.

It’s Your Neighbourhood is a non-competitive category of Britain in Bloom aimed at smaller volunteer-led community groups who are greening up their local environment.

There are three core pillars of It’s Your Neighbourhood – community participation, environmental responsibility and gardening achievement.

The groups range from friends of bowling greens and parks, community gardeners, hospice and hospital gardens, police stations and many community allotments, and included the Friends of Brierdene, and Aged Miners’ Cottages in New Hartley.

They are assessed by Northumbria in Bloom judges and the levels of achievement on offer are outstanding, thriving, developing, improving and establishing.

Chairman of Northumbria in Bloom, Eileen Burn, said: “It’s Your Neighbourhood is a vital campaign for Britain in Bloom – it encourages small groups anywhere in the country to be involved in making the most of where they live.

“They can adopt specific places and they can turn round derelict areas and make them into horticultural havens for the benefit of all.

“In these times of financial constraints people are achieving great things because they want to live in an attractive and friendly environment, and it is great that this campaign gives credit and support to these volunteers.”