A new eye-catching feature in the centre of Pegswood has been opened.
Wansbeck MP Ian Lavery cut the ribbon for the community garden, a meeting place and space to enjoy on a plot of land at the junction of Front Street and Longhirst Road, on Saturday.
It has been designed to reflect the area’s heritage, coal mining and brickworks, with planting to provide colour and interest throughout the year.
After a long history with various collieries in the village, Pegswood Colliery was closed in February 1969.
The garden includes 24 oak sleepers, reflecting the 24 fathoms depth of the first coal shaft that was sunk in the village, and themed flowers include iris coal seams and canary bird roses.
Those involved also decided to use as many Pegswood bricks within the garden as possible.
Mr Lavery said: “When you see projects like this on paper, they always look fantastic. However, sometimes they don’t come to fruition.
“Therefore, it’s great that this scheme has come to fruition.
“This is down to the dedication of Pegswood Parish councillors, who came up with the idea, and the support of many people and organisations.
“Pegswood is a thriving community and I’m sure many people will sit in this lovely garden in different weathers and enjoy the flowers and other features.”
Pegswood Parish Council worked with award-winning gardener Sean Murray, of Garden Narratives, and designs were presented to the community in April 2017.
Following an overwhelmingly positive response from residents, the local authority committed to getting as much external support as possible.
Its chairman, Coun Paul Williams, said: “It’s very satisfying to have completed the project and we hope everyone enjoys the garden.
“We also hope that the village will appreciate and take care of the garden for many years to come.
“It’s been a real team effort – many people have contributed.”
Applications to the Big Lottery Fund and Welbeck Estates for funding were successful.
Pegswood county councillor David Towns allocated £1,500 for it from his small schemes allowance. After raising it with his county council colleagues, the Northumberland authority agreed to provide a few thousand pounds for the project.
And Muckle LLP, the law firm he works for, donated £500.
Coun Towns said: “Pegswood has a fantastic sense of community spirit and this is a great example of the community coming together to bring a conceptual idea into life.”
The parish council also thanked Peter Hodgson of PH Partnership and Dave Pollard of Enviro Property Partners for their hard work in bringing the design to life and Johnsons of Whixley and Wansbeck Garden Centre for providing the plants.
Ellie Richardson, of Johnsons of Whixley, said: “Johnsons has a proud history of supporting community projects and we’re proud to have been able to support the construction of a new community garden.
“We value the history and heritage of our own village, so it’s pleasing to be able to help another village pay homage to theirs through the supply of plants from our own hardy, high-quality stock.”