Britain in Bloom judges arrive in Pont next Wednesday

A floral display on Coates Green.
A floral display on Coates Green.

Ponteland is preparing for a visit by Royal Horticultural Society judges next week to rate its bid for a coveted Britain in Bloom award.

It is the region’s hope for the small town category in the national competition, having won gold medals for the past five years in the Northumbria in Bloom contest.

Flower tubs on North Road.

Flower tubs on North Road.

A group of volunteers, led by former Ponteland Mayor Robin Ramsay and former town councillor Joyce Butcher, has spent months working on the entry, supported by various local organisations, numerous local businesses and the high school.

The tasks have included weeding, litter picking, general tidying up and the creation of stunning floral displays.

Ponteland Mayor Alan Varley said: “The response from the businesses, organisations and the community has been overwhelming this year and the town council would like to thank our contractors – Iain Clough, Michael Champion, Jim Scott, and Derek and Calum Sherlock.

“A big thank you must go to former councillors Joyce Butcher and Robin Ramsay, who despite stepping down from the town council in May have provided a great deal of help with both the national and regional entries.”

Hanging baskets of flowers at one of the entrances to Ponteland Park.

Hanging baskets of flowers at one of the entrances to Ponteland Park.

Judges for the small town category, Kate Dagnall and Brendan Mowforth, will be taken on a tour of the area – including the park, Broadway in Darras Hall and the centre of Ponteland – on Wednesday.

There are 78 finalists, from Aberdeen to St Helier in Jersey, all being assessed across three key criteria: horticultural achievement; community participation and environmental responsibility.

An awards event will be held in Llandudno, North Wales, on Friday, October 27.