SEDGEFIELD was the big winner at the Northumbria in Bloom 2013 awards ceremony today (Tuesday, September 17), bagging four prizes.

The County Durham village won a Gold medal, the trophy for Best Small Town and the Percy Boydell Trophy for Overall Best Entry, while the Golden Lion won the best pub or hotel prize.

Norma Neal, from Sedgefield in Bloom, said 30 volunteers had worked with Sedgefield Town Council to ensure the success.

“We’ve continued working really hard on projects we already on the go, particularly the wild flower garden we started last year.

“The weather was against us last year but we didn’t give in, we persevered and it looks fantastic.”

The village also boasts a rose garden, a coronation memorial garden and a herb garden, the latter fitting this year’s Northumbria in Bloom theme of edible gardening.

Judges said Sedgefield’s was an outstanding entry and the Bloom group worked exceptionally well together, showing real dedication resulting in wonderful horticultural achievements.

A record number of more than 100 Gold medals were awarded at today’s ceremony, held at Sunderland AFC’s Stadium of Light.

The host, popular broadcaster John Grundy, said: “Anything that shows our pride in the wonderful places we inhabit is important.

“That works at a personal level, with your own front garden, and business places as well. Flowers are enormously important to us.

“We know the North-East is full of character and beauty. It deserves every bit of attention we can give it.”

Judges visited 73 places this spring and summer, awarding Gold to 26 communities and more than 100 entries.

Eileen Burn, chairman of Northumbria in Bloom, said: “Despite the seemingly never-ending winter and spring, this has been a summer of triumph – not only in the triumph of sunshine and warm temperatures, but the triumph of hardworking volunteers in communities in co-operation with their local councils.”

Next year’s Northumbria in Bloom awards will be the 50th. For more information, visit

NORTHUMBRIA in Bloom 2013: major award winners Best Small Village: Great Whittington, Northumberland Best Village: Moorsholm, Redcar and Cleveland Best Large Village: Warkworth, Northumberland Best Small Town: Sedgefield, County Durham Best Town: Morpeth, Northumberland Best Large Town: Durham City Best Small City: Thornaby, Stockton Best City: Stockton Best Large City: Sunderland Best Urban Community: Eston, Redcar and Cleveland Best Coastal Resort: Saltburn-by-the-Sea, Redcar and Cleveland Most Improved Entry: Ouston, County Durham Best Overall Entry: Sedgefield, County Durham

Growing Together: Northumbria in Bloom Schools Campaign 2013 Land of the Prince Bishops Trophy (Most points overall): Abbeyfields First School, Morpeth Rod Leyburn Memorial Trophy (most points for educational benefit): Middlestone Moor Primary School, Spennymoor Cowell’s Garden Centre Trophy (Most points for horticulture): Yohden Primary School, Horden

Northumbria in Bloom 2013 Special Award Winners Best voluntary project in support of Northumbria in Bloom: Saltburn Library Best business park: Doxford International Business Park, Sunderland Outstanding contribution by a salaried individual in support of Northumbria in Bloom: Norman Atkinson, parks and allotments development officer, Sunderland City Council Outstanding voluntary contribution by a private individual in support of Northumbria in Bloom: Barry McCabe, Moorsholm Best combined efforts of residents: Woodbine Terrace, Corbridge Best kept grounds of a care home, residential or convalescent home: Middleton Hall Retirement Village, Middleton St George Best kept grounds of a religious establishment maintained by parishioners: St Mary’s Church, Moorsholm Best individual commercial effort for the upkeep and layout of external premises: The Alnwick Garden Best conservation project: Herrington Country Park, Sunderland Best kept and florally attractive bus, metro or railway station: Saltburn Railway Station Best effort for upkeep of external premises public house or hotel: The Golden Lion, Sedgefield Best Park (towns section): Ropner Park, Stockton Best shopping precinct, retail park, chamber of trade or equivalent: Morpeth Chamber of Trade and Sanderson Arcade Most attractive front garden (villages): Hazel Tree Farmhouse, Moorsholm Best hospital, hospice or medical centre: Hexham Hospital Best college, university grounds or sports centre: Redcar Racecourse Best allotment association: Ayton Gardens Allotment Site, Washington 2013 Discretionary Award: Pottergate Adult Training Centre, Alnwick