Another fine mess – part one
A blog post by John Cruickshank
- #ScotClimateWeek - our impacts and actions
- Protecting the sand and sea
- Designing a lower carbon Scotland
- Getting to know... Lisa Snedden
- Combating climate change with information, education and training
- Litter picking 500 miles was always Gonna Be easy
- 7K for 7 Flags Challenge
- Littering less at St Joseph's Primary School in Glasgow
- Smashing litter picking targets during an unexpected stay in Scotland
- Keeping our communities beautiful
- Celebrating our brilliant volunteers
- Designing a pocket garden
- Getting to know... Nicola Smith
- East Haven Together
- It’s time to litter-ly turn anger into action
- Working in partnership to give communities a helping hand to clean up Scotland
- Why Beautiful Scotland is important to Lauder in Bloom
- We can all be climate ready
- Climate Ready Classrooms at Speyside High School
- Taking part in It's Your Neighbourhood
- Bags of opportunity for good
- Getting to know... Eve Keepax
- Lucky to live here
- A year of opportunity ahead
- How I’m trying to waste less this Christmas
- Unmasking a looming litter emergency
- Getting to know... Brian Rae
- A Canal College® journey
- Volunteering during a pandemic
- Applauding the unsung heroes who manage our award winning parks and beaches
- Socially distant but learning together
- Getting to know.......Lisa Snedden
- Waste vs the pandemic: finding a new normal for single-use cups
- Now is the time to change
- Could the Global Goals provide a framework for the green recovery?
- Getting to know....Connor Launder
- Our incredible Beautiful Scotland and It’s Your Neighbourhood community
- Getting to know our people behind Climate Ready Classrooms
- Lockdown litter - a community view
- Looking after beaches
- Time for a more sustainable future, a greener and fairer one for all
- Getting to know.....Claire Gibson
- The Origins of George Wyllie's 'Original Earth Guarantee'
- Getting to know... Aoife Hutton
- National disgrace of lockdown litter
- The healing power of local places
- Tackling Covid-19 and climate change at a community level
- Amid the Coronavirus crisis the climate emergency has not gone away
- Bringing environmental education home
- #TurdTag – getting creative to tackle dog poo
- Preparing young people to take action on climate change
- Running on community power
- Reconnecting with nature
- Coronavirus isn't an excuse - flytipping is still a crime
- Sowing seeds of hope in our community
- Hope for the environment post-Coronavirus?
- From Eco-School Committee to environmental charity
- You can’t tackle the climate crisis unless you are climate ready
- Why everyone wins when you take part in Beautiful Scotland
- Entering our third decade with a splash
- Is 2020 the year for a circular economy in Scotland?
- A year in the life of: the campaigns and innovation team
- Scottish Partnership Against Rural Crime
- Setting sail: all aboard the partnership
- Free wheeling
- Scotland is thirsty for change
- This #ScotClimateWeek, are you ready to pledge?
- Upstream Battle at Whinhill Primary School
- Elaine Hopley on our Upstream Battle week of action
- 20 September climate strikes: what took place and what happens now?
- Playing our part to reduce cup waste
- The funeral of a glacier: time to pull the emergency brake
- Get your Paws on Plastic
- It’s time to take action to reverse climate change
- Monitoring litter to help keep Scotland beautiful
- Tackling Our Unsustainable Cup Consumption
- Cups hitting the ground: what we learned at TRNSMT Festival
- We All Have To Fight The UpStream Battle
- It's rubbish that people have to clean up after litter bugs
- The power of pocket gardens
- Registering your clean up makes a difference
- Tackling climate change starts at home
- Speaking the language of Carbon Literacy
- The life of a Keep Scotland Beautiful intern
- Wheatley Group: two years on and still going strong
- Roadside Litter: Think twice before you chuck
- Our citizen scientists are ready to make waves for Upstream Battle
- Taking a stand on climate change – what actions will you take?
- The Cup Movement will tackle our litter culture head on
- Working across borders to tackle climate change
- Celebrating 25 years of Eco-Schools in Scotland
- Climate change – it’s personal
- Putting young people first for our environment at Keep Scotland Beautiful
- Treading lightly – steps to lower our carbon footprint
- Aunty Babs washes her spoon and so should you
- Climate change: we can all do our bit
- Have yourself a green Christmas
- Shifting up a gear on Scotland’s roadside litter problem
- It’s time to consign our litter problem to the dustbin of history
- We can save our seas by starting at home
- Everyone can do their bit to protect the world – what’s your Goal?
We have a number of ‘new’ entrants into our Beautiful Scotland initiative this year, so we asked John from Stonehaven Horizon Project to share the group's experiences and tell us why the group and the community have found it so important taking part.
Stonehaven will find out how they’ve got on this year at our virtual celebration and award ceremony on 23 September. Check back here the following week to read part two of John’s blog.
The conversation all began back in November 2019 at our AGM. Having delivered my annual convenor’s report and been voted in for one more year, I set about making suggestions for 2020. One of my ideas at the time was re-joining Keep Scotland Beautiful after an absence of some years and, with a little luck, participating in the Beautiful Scotland competition.
Well, all I could see were upturned eyes. Where’s JC going with this one! Well nowhere to be precise, nor was anyone else. Covid-19 struck and on March 23 2020, along with the rest of the UK, we were in lockdown. Horizon members faced weeks of inactivity. No hanging baskets, no regular work parties, no cups of tea and well-earned cake.
Before we knew it, we were at our next AGM in November 2020, having suffered further lockdowns and a town feeling dismal with uncut grass and weeds everywhere. Our streets were lined with ugly water barriers to create Covid-safe ‘spaces for people’. We needed something to rekindle our enthusiasm. I again brought up the possibility of entering Beautiful Scotland – again the response was lukewarm.
Now, my wife accuses me of never listening. And it is fair to say I ignored the deafening silence and carried on thinking.
Eventually, and I don’t exactly remember the date of this one particular meeting, I announced that we had re-joined Keep Scotland Beautiful and I’d be entering us in the Coastal Town category. Around the table, baffled expressions were straight from a Laurel and Hardy movie as volunteers silently expressed 'Well, here’s another fine mess you’ve gotten us into'.
A senior member with experience of earlier entries muttered dolefully, “It’s a lot of work.”
At the very start it was evident to me that Horizon should not be doing this on our own. There are many very active groups who quite rightly proud of their role in the town: groups with lots of energy that could be harnessed. So we hit the local press saying, ‘It’s not Horizon that’s entering, it’s Stonehaven.’
It was like unleashing a beast.
We very quickly secured the backing of the community. By the end of March I was rolling out a vision to the Area Manager Bruce Stewart and his officers, who were all for supporting our entry and the efforts of the town.
What transpired has been a journey of discovery. We’ve laughed and worked hard, but always there have been smiling faces along the way. Even in the days of pouring rain when the judges were only a week away, I could see the smiles under the soaking wet anoraks and misted glasses as people set about making the town looking the loveliest we’ve seen it for years.
It has been a great experience for the town. The groups each looked after sections of our route and individuals pitched in too. On the day, I am confident the judges could not see a single weed or piece of litter anywhere. I can tell you Stonehaven was going for gold.
I remember sitting in on the Keep Scotland Beautiful spring seminar on 28 April this year, and listening to Stan da Prato speaking of ‘celebrating your success’. Whatever the outcome of our entry, I can tell you Stonehaven is celebrating the fun of a shared challenge, and our town being restored to cleanliness and order after the chaos of Covid.
We wish our fellow coastal towns every good fortune with their entry, and to all of the Beautiful Scotland family. Keep on smiling and celebrating (September 23, 2021).
The results of this year's Beautiful Scotland initiative will be revealed at our online celebration event on 23 September. You will be able to find out all the results on our Beautiful Scotland web pages.
And if John's blog has inspired you to think about taking part in Beautiful Scotland next year, entry will open in the new year - visit our Beautiful Scotland pages to find out more about what's involved and check back in the new year for more information on timescales.