Ovington in full bloom as judges tour village displays
By David Wibberley - Reporter
JUDGES from Northumbria in Bloom said it was a “perfect day” when they visited Ovington to cast an eye over the village for this year’s competition.
Last year Ovington was awarded gold when residents entered the small village category for the first time.
Villagers also received the Whickham Award for Best New Entry.
Boosted by the success of last year’s win, more members of the community got involved during the winter and spring months to make the village look blooming marvellous this time round.
And as well as entering the small village category again landlord at the Four Alls, Dave Nixon, has entered the best small pub category.
Mr Nixon, his wife Christine and daughter Amy have worked hard to transform the beer garden at the back of the pub into a wildlife haven.
Mrs Nixon, who works at Eggleston Hall Gardens during the day, said she had been out until late in the evenings getting the plants in place.
She added: “There was supposed to be a pond, but my son Andrew hurt his back and wasn’t able to put it in, so all the planting is rather hastily done, but it’s something we can work on.”
Before the judges headed out to look at the results, they were given a brief presentation at the Four Alls, outlining the work residents had carried out.
Villager Shaun Hanson explained to the judges the competition success had galvanised the community and more people had come on board. He said tatty looking salt bins had been replaced and sign posts have been given a lick of paint, as have the “sponsored floral tubs”.
There were even more villagers than last year helping out with autumn bulb planting and maintenance and there had been several fundraising events which had also helped boost funds for Guide Dogs for the Blind.
Parish council chairman Nigel Parkes said residents had committed between 400 and 500 hours of voluntary work to keep the village looking in tip top condition.
He added the village’s entry was self funding, something they are proud of. Although the council had covered the cost of entry and insurance all other items had been paid for by residents.