JUDGES from a prestigious gardening contest have been casting an eye around a North-East city.

Durham is representing Northumbria in Bloom in this year’s national Britain in Bloom finals, competing in the Large Town category.

Judges from organisers the Royal Horticultural Society visited the city on Thursday (August 7).

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They were shown around the Market Place and Durham railway station where young people from the Durham Agency Against Crime Haggrid project are working to tidy up the area.

Oliver Sherratt, Durham County Council’s head of direct services, said: “We are extremely honoured and delighted to be welcoming national Britain in Bloom judges to Durham to showcase the hard work of partners and volunteers in making the city a more attractive place to live, work and visit.

“Durham is a beautiful city, steeped in history, and we are very proud to be a finalist in the large town category of the Britain in Bloom competition.”

Councillor Brian Stephens, the cabinet member for neighbourhoods and local partnerships, thanked residents, volunteers and organisations who had helped with the campaign.

Meanwhile, Sedgefield is competing in the best small town category.

Both qualified following success at last year’s Northumbria in Bloom awards.

The winners of this year’s Britain in Bloom will be announced in October.