AFTER an action packed year, volunteers and council gardeners were ready to welcome Britain in Bloom judges to their town.

The Sedgefield in Bloom team and council gardeners Stephen Young and Ben Gray showed judges Keith Jackson and Lee-Anne Bone around the town too see how their hard work and the pride residents' take in the community has paid off.

Bloom secretary Norma Neal said Sedgefield was looking at its best, with colourful displays in tubs, baskets and beds on the green and many Bloom projects elsewhere around the town.

She said volunteers have worked hard to develop further garden areas in the grounds of Ceddesfeld Hall, that wild flowers planted at Wykes Close and on the entrances to the town were universally admired, the formal garden at the Manor House is the perfect backdrop for a summer wedding and the Bloom bike and beacon on the green have raised plenty of smiles. New beds at Malton Terrace and Beacon Lane pay tribute to Bloomers no longer with us.

She said the community spirit is always impressive, which includes new volunteers bringing a variety of skills to the team and generous support from local businesses and organisations.

August was the third judging visit, as Northumbria in Bloom judges Allannah Robinson and Janet Beakes visited in April and July.

Mrs Neal said: "Sedgefield has previously won many gold medals in both the regional and national Bloom competitions. Awards ceremonies in Gateshead in September and Westminster in October will show whether we have done enough to maintain the high standard we so proudly set."