Another fine mess – part one
A blog post by John Cruickshank
- A decade and a half of environmental legislation
- It's never too early to learn about the climate emergency
- Our strategy to inspire action for our environment
- FARE Lochend - Where good news is standard
- Glashieburn's LEAF journey
- An Interview with Travel Influencer Chris Lawlor
- Climate action with hope and optimism
- The Big River Irvine Riverbank Clean
- Eating nettles and gazing at clouds: a LEAF reflection
- #TakeItBack to the start
- Dalry Primary School's LEAF journey
- Pedalling towards a sustainable future
- Chirnside Primary School's LEAF journey
- Flowerbank Early Childhood Centre's Pocket Garden Experience
- To keep Scotland beautiful we all need to take action
- Applegarth and Hutton’s LEAF journey
- Our hope for a nature positive Scotland
- Becoming a Platinum Carbon Literate Organisation
- Volunteering with KSB and loving every minute
- We are all accountable for our actions
- Hillhead students talk keeping Kelvingrove Park beautiful
- Making it easy to choose a reusable cup for takeaway drinks
- Get to know...John MacLennan
- Get to know...Sandy Scott
- How Eco-Schools benefits pupils, teachers and communities
- Community gardening for climate, nature and heritage in Cumbernauld
- Tackling the litter emergency to protect our wild isles
- Scotland isn't looking so beautiful. We can change that.
- Get to know... Green Flag Award Judges
- Collaboration and innovation to tackle marine litter
- An introduction to Kinnesswood in Bloom...
- The litter emergency
- Our charity faces the environmental challenges ahead with optimism
- Wrapping up 2022
- Biodiversity - Reflections on COP15
- Small steps to protect biodiversity
- Why Mountains Matter
- It’s not just bees and butterflies on your flowers
- Wet Wipes - What's the Issue?
- Young Reporters on the Route: The Launch of Running Out of Time
- Getting to know... Tom Brock OBE
- Getting to know...Kyle Usher
- A busy day for Upstream Battle education
- Planning a Wedding with the Planet in Mind
- 'Disposable' vapes and the damage they cause
- Climate Emergency Training provides positive opportunities for young people
- Making climate action possible for everyone
- Reasons to be positive
- Shotts is ACTing NOW on climate change
- Hope is a Garden
- Do we need the word 'pests' anymore?
- Beautiful Scotland judging - the truth
- Supporting Scotland to be the very greenest destination it can be
- Arbroath - working together, inspiring local climate action and improving lives
- Reflections of a beach manager
- I do like to be beside the seaside
- Climate Action Schools - helping young people take action
- Inspiring and empowering young people
- Climate Ready Classrooms at George Heriot's
- Data drives decisions
- Litter, fines and doing time
- Why our Web Developer Cameron loves being part of Team KSB
- It's only one
- Why join the family of It’s Your Neighbourhood?
- YoungScot Legacy Event
- Why it is the sea and SDG 14 for me
- Litter picking - a surprisingly fun group activity
- Climate Action Skills and positive action for all
- Seeing community groups thrive with Beautiful Scotland and It's Your Neighbourhood
- (What to do on) a dreich morning on the Firth of Clyde
- West Lothian Litter Pickers – How I got involved
- Scotland’s Climate Festival – Seed funding for community action
- Climate Ready Classrooms at St. Paul’s RC High School
- Scottish Book Trust representative joins Pocket Garden judging panel
- Have #YourSayOnLitter - we plan to...
- Everyone has something to say about litter – time to make it count
- Who ya gonna call?
- Why I pick up other people's garbage.
- Getting to Know...Colin
- Creative Careers: Spotlight on Heritage #NoWrongPath
- Celebrating Scotland’s best managed green and blue spaces
- Taking small steps towards a more sustainable future
- Caring for our planet
- Football’s Power to Combat Climate Change
- Our work on the COP26 Youth Climate Programme
- What’s litter got to do with climate change?
- Scotland’s Climate Festival kicks off in Falkirk
- Responsible Tourism – an opportunity not to be missed
- Climate Change Vlog by Dalry Primary School
- Failing our future?
- Our Week of Climate Action
- #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
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.