The Duchess of Northumberland helped to celebrate the very best in community and voluntary environmental work across the county.
At the LOVE Northumberland Awards ceremony in The Alnwick Garden, organised by the county council, 16 groups, organisations or individuals were either winners or runners-up across seven categories and two schools also received accolades in the Northumberland Schools Recycling Points Challenge.
Ellington Allotment Association was the runner-up in the Best Urban Project category.
A committee of ten volunteers assist with the running and maintenance of the site alongside plot holders, working together to enhance the community scheme.
They manage the use of an all-round gardening recreation experience to users. The allotments have brought many people together and increased confidence, communication, physical exercise and healthy eating from their own produce, which to many is a new experience.
In just a short space of time, some of the volunteers have dug, cultivated and fenced the site and also provided an area for raised beds and a sensory garden. The area is easily accessible for wheelchair users.
Belsay First School was the runner-up in the schools recycling challenge.
Its activities included a science and waste week, where pupils made smoothies, curry and paella from leftovers. The school’s eco-committee also did a recycling audit and an assembly to remind the school of what they can recycle.
Northumberland Community Enterprise Ltd was highly commended in the Best New Project category for its Bedlington and Morpeth Community Allotments initiative.
The Duchess presented the awards and prizes at the ceremony, which was supported by main sponsor the Banks Group and hosted by BBC Look North’s Carol Malia.
Coun Kath Nisbet, civic head of the county council, said: “These awards are about celebrating the fantastic work that individuals and groups do in a voluntary capacity to improve our environment right across Northumberland.”