Hardworking community groups have been honoured for helping to improve their neighbourhood.
The Love Northumberland awards recognised the efforts of 11 organisations and two schools at a special ceremony held at The Alnwick Garden last night.
Best new project went to Wylam Community Orchard Biodiversity Group, while best urban scheme was awarded to the Old Bakehouse Millennium Green Trust in Morpeth.
The Friends of Holywell Dene won best coast or countryside project.
Bryan Ray, from The Friends of Holywell Dene, said: “I’m over the moon. I was rather nervous when they said we had won but was really proud at the same time.
“We have been going now for 15 years and this is the first time we have put ourselves forward for something like this and to go on to win it was unbelievable.
“It has been an excellent night and it was lovely to meet the Duchess.”
There was a new category this year for the best business-related project – which was won by the Whistle Art Stop Smartz Club in Haltwhistle.
A second new category for the individual whose efforts or commitment help to enrich the environment of Northumberland was presented to the Friends of Bedlington’s Gallagher Park in memory of George Webster.
George worked tirelessly to make significant improvements at the park and sadly died earlier this year following a lengthy illness.
The awards, hosted by BBC Look North’s Carol Malia and attended by the Duchess of Northumberland, have been developed by the county council through its Love Northumberland campaign.
Coun Kath Nisbet, civic head of the county council, said: “I would like to thank everyone who has taken the time to get involved in the awards, and to let us know about the work that they are doing in their communities.
“I would like to thank the duchess very much indeed for giving up her time to come along to the event and for showing her strong support for the Love Northumberland campaign.
“I would also like to thank our main sponsors for their support – the Banks Group and the Co-op – as well as all our partners and everyone involved in the awards.”
Barry Grimes, development relations co-ordinator at the Banks Group, added: “The spirit of the Love Northumberland Awards matches our own commitment to improving the communities in which we operate, and we’re extremely pleased to be supporting Northumberland County Council in recognising the contributions made by local people in enhancing their county’s environment in the last 12 months.”
Among the other winners were Grange View C of E First School, of Widdrington, who topped the first Northumberland Schools Recycling Green Points Challenge after pupils got involved in a wide range of green activities.
The best children’s project was won by Belsay First School for their biodiversity project and the best young people’s project went to the Cowpen Quay Community Association’s Buffalo Junior Wardens for their Ridley Park Project, in Blyth.