Three Pillars

Beautiful Scotland is judged according to the three pillars of horticultural achievement, environmental responsibility and community participation, which accord with the spectrum of activity of our charity. Therefore, while shrubs, flowers and trees form an important part of a submission, so do considerations of the litter and graffiti in the area and the area’s work on sustainability issues such as planting for wildlife and recycling. This breadth helps groups to focus on general civic pride in their surroundings.

Horticultural achievement

Horticultural achievement (Section A) is worth 50% of the total judges’ marks. Judges look for achievements in the following five key areas, worth 10% each:

  1. Impact
  2. Horticultural practice
  3. Residential and community gardening
  4. Business areas and premises
  5. Green spaces

The judges will be expecting to be shown that:

  • The community is being presented at its best in terms of the range, variety, quantity and colours of plants chosen, and the inclusion of special features and/or innovative design where appropriate.
  • The plants used are well cultivated and healthy, and planted areas are well-maintained.
  • Account has been taken of sustainability in establishing a balance of permanent and annual planting.
  • The condition of public and private gardens and grounds, plus any commercial areas, demonstrate support for the entrants’ efforts to improve the community.

Environmental responsibility

Environmental responsibility (Section B) is worth 25% of the total judges’ marks. Judges look for achievements in the following five key areas, worth 5% each:

  1. Conservation and biodiversity
  2. Resource management
  3. Local heritage
  4. Local environmental quality
  5. Pride of place

The judges will be expecting to be shown that the group:

  • Demonstrates that effort has been made to preserve, develop or restore natural habitats or wildlife areas in the community.
  • Provides evidence of the steps taken to minimise any negative impact on the environment through, for example, recycling, using peat-free composts, re-use of materials, community composting, etc.
  • Demonstrates that steps have been taken to improve vacant properties, gap sites or other problem areas for the benefit of the community.
  • Can be shown to have made a contribution to increasing civic pride and/or awareness of local heritage.

Community participation

Community participation (Section C) is worth 25% of the total judges’ marks. Judges look for achievements in the following five key areas, worth 5% each:

  1. Development and continuity
  2. Communication and education
  3. Community participation
  4. Year-round involvement
  5. Funding and support

The judges will be expecting to be shown that:

  • There are plans to develop and improve on the work that has been done.
  • The group has taken steps to engage with all sectors of the community and to involve them in the group’s efforts.
  • Educational activities and communication with the wider community form part of the group’s efforts throughout the year.
  • The group has addressed the need to secure on-going financial and other forms of support to allow the continuation and development of its efforts.

*Supporting local It’s Your Neighbourhood groups can earn entrants marks in this section.

More detail about the three pillars can be found in the 2017 Guidance for Entrants.