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Beautiful Scotland judging - the truth

A blog post by Ray Theedam-Parry

Beautiful Scotland is our long-established community environmental improvement programme which we run in partnership with the Royal Horticultural Society (RHS) under the Britain in Bloom campaign. Through Beautiful Scotland we support groups across Scotland as they seek to improve and enhance their local environment. 

Lauder in Bloom's Beautiful Scotland journey began when they joined us as an It's Your Neighbourhood group in 2015, to making the step up to Beautiful Scotland in 2017.

Ray Theedam-Parry from Lauder in Boom tells us the truth about preparing for Beautiful Scotland judging.

The voice in my head is on a repetitive loop, ‘They judge you on EVERYTHING they see.' On hands and knees scraping up the gutter gunk the Council’s road sweeping crew couldn’t quite reach, muttering darkly about the lovely Juliette’s reminders to ‘Have fun!…’

My step count probably reaches its peak the week before judging as we seem to endlessly walk the route. Up early the morning of judging to go round again, washing dog poo from paths, wondering how you’d missed a weed that was brave enough to show its face. Picking up what feels like the gazillionth cigarette butt (I’m sure they breed on the streets), hoping that in the time it takes you to get back to the start to escort the clipboard wielding judges no-one would have breathed let alone left any unwanted ‘gifts’.

Luckily the volunteer Beautiful Scotland judges are lovely and that helps, a lot

As a fellow group said, there are definite similarities between judging day and childbirth… once it’s all over any negative memories soon fade. And you know what, if we didn’t invite the judges to come and walk our streets I doubt we’d go the extra mile to make our town look quite so good. And all those extra pairs of hands that materialise just for the run up to judging day, wanting to be a part of the building fizzing atmosphere which makes our town’s community spirit truly sparkle. As the memories already begin to fade of all the blood, sweat and tears (and picking up pants from the middle of the road just hours before the judges arrived - yes really!) we’ll most likely be doing it all again next year - see what I mean about childbirth.

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