Archive for the ‘Conservation area’ Category

Winter bedding for Spring flowers

October 18, 2015

Daffodils, tulips and violas were planted in the tubs on Saturday morning, in readiness for a good show of colour throughout the conservation area next Spring.

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Thank you to all the volunteers who have helped to organise the event or planted the tubs.

Judging complete

July 20, 2015

This morning, judges from Northumbria in Bloom walked around the conservation area with volunteers from Blooming Shotley Bridge.

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They seemed impressed with the floral decorations, sustainable planting, heritage initiatives and wildlife areas.  The clean streets, lack of litter and dog fouling was also admired. Thanks to all the volunteers, residents, businesses, the Junior School and County Council  for their efforts in putting on a good show.

Competition results will not be known until September.

Chester-le-Street visitors

July 12, 2015

Yesterday a group of visitors from the Chester-le-Street & District Area Action Partnership were given a tour of the village centre. Its Improved Environment Task Group came to find out what the Shotley Bridge Village Trust had achieved for our village and how it had happened.


Tubs planted

June 7, 2015

Sixteen Trust volunteers helped on Saturday morning to make a start on planting 44 tubs with summer bedding and 6 with sustainable perennials.  Two new double tiered oak barrel planters have been purchased with a grant from local councillors, which have also been filled with colourful geraniums, surfinia [petunia] and lobelia.

The Council will be planting the Trust’s barrier baskets which volunteers will continue to maintain.

More plants have also been donated and purchased for the sustainable beds, which the Trust plants and maintains, on behalf of the Council.

Blooming ready

June 4, 2015

The Trust has started preparations for the Northumbria in Bloom summer judging in 7 weeks time.  The  judges will be visiting on the morning of 20 July.

50 tubs have been emptied and topped up with compost ready for planting up with summer bedding, by volunteers on Saturday morning and weeds near them have been sprayed. As an experiment, 6 of the tubs are being planted with sustainable plants that will not need to be removed twice a year.  Although £100 has been allocated for this, it should save money in the long term. The Trust spends up to £500 a year on summer bedding and a similar amount on winter bedding and bulbs, as residents tell us that they prefer colourful displays. The bulbs are replanted in open spaces in the autumn.

Keeping the area free of leaves, road grit, dog dirt and litter are important judging criteria.  Please help our volunteers by putting dog pooh bags and litter in the bins provided. Cigarette ends are a particular problem in the village centre, particularly outside pubs and restaurants, even though businesses provide outside bins for their customers.

Many smokers do not realise that throwing away a cigarette end is a littering offence. The County Council’s Neighbourhood Wardens are issuing fines to people doing this in a public place, as it is an offence, under the Environmental Protection Act 1990. Anyone dropping litter can be issued with a fixed penalty notice of £80. Thirteen people who did not pay their fines for dropping cigarette ends in County Durham were taken to Court yesterday.

More information about your local Neighbourhood Warden Team is available on the County Council website.

Moorsholm visitors

April 22, 2015

Following an invitation from the Trust, volunteers from Moorsholm in Bloom visited Shotley Bridge to give advice on our entry in Northumbria in Bloom.

Last year Moorsholm, a small village on the edge of the North York Moors National Park, again achieved a gold Award in the regional competition and have won the trophy for the best entry in the ‘village’ category for the last three years. They went on to achieve the ‘Best Village Award’ in the RHS National Britain in Bloom competition. Their most successful year and an excellent achievement.

Find out more from the Moorsholm in Bloom website.

Judges in Bloom

April 14, 2015

Yesterday, three judges from Northumbria in Bloom were shown around the village during their spring visit. Although only 20% of the total marks are awarded at this stage in the year, it gave the Trust an an opportunity to showcase the area and explain the improvements which have been carried out or are planned. Particularly as none of the judges had visited us before.

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S106 funded improvements

April 5, 2015

The damaged coping stones around the ‘Kaydar’ bed have been repaired and new turf laid. Two new parking bays have been added outside Rumi’s and are expected to be marked out by the end of April, including a 2 hour waiting restriction. Durham County Council has also completed the new paving and bollards in front of the shops on Front Street.

The replica Pant is to be commissioned and work on its foundation and the new paving and seating area around it is expected to start at the end of this month and completed in May. The new ‘Victorian style’ lamp posts are on order and hopefully will be installed and working by the end of June.

These improvement schemes have been funded using S106 money from the Storey Homes development on the former hospital site.

Cleaned Up

March 21, 2015

A dozen volunteers turned out this morning to tidy up the village. A big thank you to all who helped.

All the roads leading from the centre of the village were cleared of litter, throughout most of the conservation area.



Spa Grounds development

February 27, 2015

A proposal for housing development and new cricket facilities at the Spa Grounds is finally being considered by Durham County Council, following a protracted period of consultation and report submissions. The scheme was first considered by Derwentside District Council in 2009.

The planning application is being considered by members of the County Planning Committee in the Council Chamber at County Hall, next Tuesday, 3 March 2015 at 2pm.

If you have a couple of hours to spare the committee report is an interesting read.

The report states that the original Derwentside decision, where members were minded to approve the application, is no longer relevant to the determination of this application, because that decision is now considered to be flawed owing to the lack of crucial information. Therefore, the application needs to be considered afresh with all material considerations properly assessed and a new decision made.

It is being recommended for refusal by officers.


The planning committee resolved to refuse permission.  Have a look at the reasons in the decision notice.

More Village Centre Improvements

February 15, 2015

Over the next few weeks Durham County Council will progress work on spending the S106 funding for environmental improvement schemes in the village centre.

Last November, new copings were laid around the flower bed opposite the Golden Flower. Unfortunately the work was affected by frosty weather and quite a few of the stones have since been dislodged. The Council are awaiting better weather before attempting reconstruction and then re-turfing of the grassed areas.

Contract costs for the reconstruction of the original Pant [drinking fountain] and new seating area opposite Rumi’s mean that there is sufficient funding for additional conservation street lighting as well as repaving in front of the shops.

Construction works will be starting in the village centre this coming week to upgrade the paving on Front Street, with work anticipated to last about 3 weeks. Following completion of this, work should start on constructing 2 new parking bays [replacing the rose beds] in front of Rumi’s, which should take another week. Limited parking restrictions are to be introduced in this lay-by, too.

Dates for the installation of the new lighting and seating area around the proposed Pant are not yet known.

Blooming at The Snods

December 4, 2014

Blooming Shotley Bridge will be raising funds at The Snods Christmas Fair this Saturday 6th December, 10am – 4pm.

We will have a stall of ‘New’ and ‘Nearly New’ items, many suitable for Christmas presents, and a Lucky Dip for those who just want to give a donation.  Items have been donated by SBVT members and friends, so all proceeds will go to planting flowers and shrubs in Shotley Bridge conservation area.

There will also be ‘Shotley Bridge’ pin badges for sale, which will make good stocking fillers.

Winter planting

October 25, 2014

This morning volunteers have been out in Shotley Bridge planting the tubs and troughs with bulbs and violas, which should give a lovely display in spring.

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October 24, 2014

Forty people turned out last Tuesday on a windy night to the Trust’s autumn Open Meeting in the Catholic Church Hall.  Sue Shaw [secretary of the Blooming Shotley Bridge working group] gave a presentation about the work of the volunteers and the Silver Gilt award from Northumbria in Bloom. John Worters [chairman of the Trust] presented certificates and gardening vouchers for the Trust’s own front garden and business hanging basket awards. The meeting unanimously agreed to support the Trust’s entry in the village category of Northumbria in Bloom in 2015.

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Residential Front Garden Awards

Golden Gardens …
5 Riverside
20 Derwentdale
26 Snows Green Road

Gardens …
77 Snows Green Road
81 Snows Green Road
Greengarth, West Law Road

Business Hanging Basket Awards

Golden Baskets …
Adam & Eve Fashions

Baskets …
Moon Jewellery [Winner]
Sale Pepe [Runner Up]

Jeff Singleton [secretary of the Trust] gave an update on the village centre improvements being organised by the County Council and paid for with S106 funds from the housing development on the former hospital site. He also gave a slide presentation of old photographs, as an introduction to the setting up of a Heritage working group to pursue various initiatives.

Daffodils galore

October 18, 2014

On Saturday morning 10 volunteers from the Trust spent a couple of hours planting more daffodils, heathers and tulips in grass verges and sustainable beds.

Hopefully this will enhance the appearance of the village in the Spring.

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Blooming Shotley Bridge wins ‘Silver Gilt’

September 17, 2014

Congratulations to Shotley Bridge which has received a ‘Siver Gilt’ Medal in the village category of this year’s Northumbria in Bloom competition. We were awarded 10 more points than in 2013, so we need just 7 more points next year to achieve ‘Gold’ status.

Thank you to the Blooming Committee, the volunteers from the Trust, Shotley Bridge Junior School, residents and local businesses, without whose efforts this award would not have been possible.

Blooming Shotley Bridge Silver Gilt Certificate 2014

NiB presentation 2014

Have a look at the judges comments and marking sheet.

Presentations for the Trust’s own garden and hanging basket awards will be made at the next Open Meeting on Tuesday 21st October.

Judges tour

July 22, 2014

Yesterday, two judges from Northumbria in Bloom were escorted around the village by members of the ‘Blooming’ committee.

They seemed impressed with what they were shown during the 2 hour walkabout.  But we won’t know until September how well we did.

Thank you to all the businesses, residents, school and volunteers for putting on such a good show.

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Summer planting

June 7, 2014

This morning, 22 volunteers from the Trust planted the tubs and troughs with over 1000 sumer bedding plants.

Antirrhinum, Tagetes, Bidens and Lobelia were planted to give a mix of yellow, orange and white flowers, in celebration of the RHS Britain in Bloom 50th anniversary this year.

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Village Centre Improvements

June 3, 2014

Although 8 months since the public exhibition in the King’s Social Club last September, Durham County Council are now making progress on spending the S106 funding for environmental improvement schemes in the village centre.

The dilapidated bus shelters have just been replaced with two new ones. S106 money had been used for demolition of the stone shelter and new tarmac base whilst Public Transport has funded the new glass shelters.





Costs and designs will be known later this month for the reconstruction of the original Pant [drinking fountain] and new seating area opposite Rumi’s.  This is the first priority of 6 schemes that were agreed at a meeting of Stakeholders in February.  If there is sufficient funding, the second and third priorities are conservation street lighting and coping stones for the flower bed opposite the Golden flower.



Sustainable beds

June 1, 2014

The Village Trust has ‘adopted’, for improvement and maintenance four raised beds in the village centre.



The bed in the triangle has been planted with herbaceous plants and bulbs, whilst the bed opposite Rumi’s now has perennial shrubs and climbers.  The pansies there will be replaced with bulbs after flowering.



The Sunflower seeds sown in the bed opposite the Golden Flower have now germinated.  When in flower there should be a mass of golden yellow, to help celebrate the 50th anniversary of RHS Britain in Bloom.



Volunteers will be planting a golden theme in the tubs and troughs this weekend, which will hopefully be in full bloom when the Northumbria in Bloom summer judging takes place on 21 July.