A Northumberland village is celebrating after winning silver gilt in the small village category at the Royal Horticultural Society’s (RHS) Britain in Bloom awards.
Great Whittington is a pretty farming and commuter village near Hexham and Corbridge. This year and in 2010 it won a gold award in the Northumbria in Bloom competition, confirming its place as one of the best small villages in the area.
This year Great Whittington was one of only four small villages in the whole of the country to make it to the final of Britain in Bloom, where it was awarded the silver gilt.
Judges from the RHS came to the village on August 2 to assess its horticultural efforts. They also considered community participation and care for the environment.
The judges congratulated the participants on working together to prepare for the awards, and said the village showed colourful and sustainable planting.
Great Whittington chose a heritage theme of Welcome Home – a look back to 1944 and the days of community spirit and old fashioned environmentally friendly gardening.
It was in that year that the village launched a Welcome Home Fund to raise money for residents who fought in the war. The fundraising continued after the end of hostilities to purchase an old school building to serve as a village hall.
Colours in the displays were blue for the sky, yellow for the sun and the crops in the fields, green for the grass around and within the village, white for peace, and red, with each tub containing one red flower in remembrance of those villagers who did not return.
Wild flowers were planted on shaded areas on the village green and poppies and forget-me-nots in particular reflected the theme. Children were encouraged to plant vegetables in the village hall garden, just as they did during the war.