Northumbria in Bloom was one of the seven founder regions of Britain in Bloom in 1964.

The competition was devised by Roy Hay, a horticultural journalist, who persuaded the Tourist Board to organise it.  The purpose of the competition was to bring cheer to the country through ‘community’ gardening.  Through the competition many different people and organisations could cooperate to create plant displays that either complemented or camouflaged the permanent structures in their cities, towns and villages.  Based on the popular French competition “Fleurissement de France”, initiated by President Charles De Gaulle to brighten up the country, Britain in Bloom was born.


The Royal Horticultural Society

In 1986 the Keep Britain Tidy Group took over the running of the competition from the Tourist Board and introduced a focus on environmental awareness and litter control in addition to horticulture.

The Royal Horticultural Society (RHS) took over the running of Britain in Bloom in 2002 which continues to this day.  They introduced an assessment / marking system based on three core categories of horticulture, the environment and community involvement.

The campaign now supports 17 regions and nations covering all of the United Kingdom. 

The Northumbria region covers Northumberland, Tyne and Wear, County Durham, and the unitary Council areas of Hartlepool, Stockton, Middlesbrough, and Redcar & Cleveland. 

Registered Charity

Northumbria in Bloom

Northumbria in Bloom is a registered charity, administered by a board of trustees, and receives no direct government funding/support.  The judges, all volunteers, come from a variety of horticultural/environmental / community engagement backgrounds.  

The competitive element is designed to be fair to everyone, with entries grouped into categories based on population taken from the electoral roll.

The most successful communities from the Northumbria in Bloom region in any given year are then nominated to take part in the Britain in Bloom UK Finals the following year; competing against other communities drawn from across the British Isles who have done well in their own particular regions.

Through involvement in Northumbria in Bloom local authorities, community groups, businesses and volunteers have done so much to restore and sustain civic pride through horticulture, and in many cases assist the tourist and consumer industries.  By making people more aware of their surroundings, the campaign has led to environmental improvements and developments which might otherwise have languished for want of enthusiasm. 

Bloom initiatives have developed which could not have been imagined when the campaign was first established in 1964, and which aim to give Northumbria and Britain, a sustainable horticultural and environmental legacy.

NIB - our team

The Team at NIB

Peter Rodger
Trustee & Website
Robert Germany
Chair & Treasurer
Val Giles
Trustee & Secretary
Jo Wood
Entries Co-ordinator
Andrew Jackson
Colleen Ashwin Kean
Trustee, Mentoring & Events
Sue Featherstone
Sabina Rose
IYN Co-ordinator

Would you like to become a NiB Judge?

Are you a keen gardener? Do you like looking at other people’s gardens for ideas and inspiration? Do you have a horticulture background? Or have you retired from a career in horticulture?

Would you like to become a judge for Northumbria in Bloom?

We are always looking for new judges to join the Northumbria in Bloom judging team, either to judge the Main Competition or the RHS It’s Your Neighbourhood entries, or, preferably, both!

We don’t expect you to know lots of plant names, either in English or Latin: the only qualification you need is an enthusiasm for plants, gardening and the environment and people.

You will also be given :

  • Full training alongside an experienced judge
  • Mileage and parking expenses covered
  • An invitation to the Spring Meeting in March and the Award Ceremony in September
  • Invitations to Judges’ social events

If you are interested in finding out more about this opportunity, please contact Val Giles at valgiles1@hotmail.com 

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