Launch of LOVE Northumberland awards for 2017

Nicola Wardle, from Northumberland County Council; Clare Marriott and Pat Parker, from Josephine Butler Primary Campus; and Coun Alan Sambrook, civic head of Northumberland County Council with pupils Callum Pringle, Rebecca Brown, Libby Rees and Grace Strong (holding Susan the chicken).
Nicola Wardle, from Northumberland County Council; Clare Marriott and Pat Parker, from Josephine Butler Primary Campus; and Coun Alan Sambrook, civic head of Northumberland County Council with pupils Callum Pringle, Rebecca Brown, Libby Rees and Grace Strong (holding Susan the chicken).

The 2017 LOVE Northumberland awards were launched with the help of a feathered friend from one of last year's winners.

Children from the gardening and wildlife group at the Josephine Butler Primary Campus in Ashington were the proud winners of last year’s award for the best urban project and, along with their chicken, Susan, helped to declare entries for the 2017 awards open.

The school’s garden area is a hive of activity with bug hotels, hedgehog houses, flower and vegetable beds that they developed themselves and a greenhouse made from plastic bottles.

Coun Alan Sambrook, civic head of Northumberland County Council, visited the school this week to declare entries for the 2017 awards open, and was fascinated by the garden area.

"The children help to look after four chickens and also have two rabbits that they care for and even read to," he said. "They have been so creative with materials that I understand that they have begged and borrowed from the local community.

"The teachers and staff are also extremely committed and I am not at all surprised that they have won a LOVE Northumberland award for each of the last three years."

The LOVE Northumberland awards mark a range of projects and initiatives which improve local areas or neighbourhoods for the benefit of members of the local community and entries are now being accepted for 2017.

Entries are invited for the categories of best children’s project; best young people’s project; best urban project; best coast or countryside project; best new project; best school recycling project; and an award for an outstanding individual.

The closing date for entries for the 2017 LOVE Northumberland awards is Wednesday, May 31. Winners will be presented by the Duchess of Northumberland at an event at The Alnwick Garden on Wednesday, July 5.

If you want to enter, or know someone who should, go to www.northumberland.gov.uk/love to find out more and download an application form. You can also email carrol.hessey@northumberland.gov.uk or phone for an entry form or to find out more on 01670 622992.