SPECTACULAR floral features across County Durham have won their towns and city a number of bloomin’ good awards at this year’s Northumbria in Bloom.

The prestigious awards, which recognise only the best floral displays, was open to locations across Northumberland, Tyne & Wear, County Durham and Teesside.

But at the awards on September 25, a number of the county’s entrants were successful in their quest to be recognised.

Durham City was awarded Best Small City for its striking floral arrangements at the Town Hall and Leazes Bowl roundabout.

The Northern Echo:

Durham's North Road

Near the City Centre, Belmont claimed Best Urban Community and the historic Wharton Park was named the Best Park in the Region.

Darlington achieved the competition’s Best in Class city centre category in recognition of its “green” city centre, public parks, ancient church ground and newly-developed riverside.

Meanwhile judges were impressed with a cricket-themed floral feature at the Riverside cricket ground and awarded Chester-le-Street a Silver Award in the large town category.

The Northern Echo:

Chester-le-Street's Riverside cricket ground

Councillor Paul Howell, cabinet member for leisure and the local environment at Darlington Borough Council, said: “Darlington’s entry was all about celebrating the work being done by so many different people in the town to make it as attractive as possible for our residents and visitors.

"It’s marvellous that all their hard work has paid off with a ‘Best in Class’ for the town and ‘Gold’ awards for four individual locations – particularly when you consider the judges last visit was on such a miserable, overcast day.”

Councillor Brian Stephens, cabinet member for neighbourhoods and local partnerships at Durham County Council, said: “We are absolutely delighted that once again County Durham has wowed the Northumbria in Bloom judges and proven how bloomin’ marvellous our county is, across such a wide range of towns and villages.

"These awards are in recognition of all the hours of hard work put in by staff from town and parish councils, the county council, schools, community organisations, and most of all an army of committed volunteers – a huge well done to everyone involved.”