A COUNTY Durham cemetery that offers a "beautiful place of rest" offering has been recognised at a national awards ceremony.

Castleside Cemetery, near Consett, owned by Durham County Council, has been awarded silver in the National Cemetery of the Year awards 2019.

The award was granted by The Memorial Awareness Board which campaigns for compassionate and sympathetic services.

Cemeteries are judged on how staff create environments and services which are safer, more welcoming for those visiting their loved ones and which comply with current legislation

Councillor Brian Stephens, cabinet member for neighbourhoods and local partnerships, said: “Cemeteries are very special places for communities and individuals who visit them.

"From keeping graves and grounds looking tidy and respectful, to dealing with people in a kind, understanding manner, the team at Castleside Cemetery have demonstrated an exceptional approach to their work.”

Philip Potts, member of The Memorial Awareness Board, said: “The awards are an excellent opportunity to reward hard-working staff and demonstrate the central role cemeteries and church yards can play in the community. They provide places of peaceful contemplation and beauty, as well as their historical, social and ecological importance.

“The team at Castleside Cemetery performed exceptionally throughout the extensive judging period which is focused on industry standards, good practice and freedom of choice.”

The award adds to a recent Green Flag Award being presented to Castleside Cemetery.