VILLAGE chiefs are celebrating after picking up a bunch of top awards for their floral flair.
The efforts by Horden Parish Council helped it scoop two accolades in this year’s Northumbria in Bloom awards.
The village’s Welfare Park achieved gold on its first attempt in the challenge, and the judges went one step further to award the park the Ken Sherwood Trophy for the Best Park in the town section.
Horden itself retained its silver award in the same category, which council chiefs say is an excellent achievement.
Describing his shock at picking up the trophy, parish council clerk Paul Davison said: “This was completely unexpected and a massive achievement for the village, beating off stiff competition from other communities such as Alnwick, Hexham, Spennymoor and Ferryhill among others.”
Judges descended on the village in July, and were impressed with the sheer efforts of the community in the upkeep of various locations, including parks and cemeteries.
Mr Davison said the awards came thanks to a team effort, adding: “This is truly a fantastic achievement for which the community should be proud.
“There are many contributors to the success of the park, from the trustees who provide the vision to progress the park forward, to the members of the public who enjoy the recreation facilities and enjoy the open space that the park provides.
“Special mention must, of course, go to the Welfare Park parks staff, who maintain the park on a daily basis.”
Easington Colliery in Bloom won the silver gilt award, having won silver for the previous two years and bronze the previous year.
Wearside also caught the attention of judges, with the city winning a gold award in the large city section of the competition.
Washington also got a gold in the best village category and Hetton and Houghton were awarded a silver gilt.
A further 10 special awards were given to schools, bus stations, businesses, parks, community gardens, hospices and care homes among others.