Why Beautiful Scotland is important to Lauder in Bloom

A blog post by Ray Theedam-Parry

Ray Theedam-Parry

Posted 05/03/2021

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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. 

We asked Lauder in Bloom to tell us about their Beautiful Scotland journey, from joining us as an It's Your Neighbourhood group in 2015, to making the step up to Beautiful Scotland in 2017.

Blog post by Ray Theedam-Parry from Lauder in Boom.


Lauder in Bloom began in 2014, partly as a response to a comment that Lauder is a long grey town and nothing much could be done about it! We began by adopting the handful of neglected planters and existing council beds in the centre of town. Since then, it’s grown arms and legs and we’ve expanded outwards, adopting several un-loved areas and working with many other groups in our community on a variety of projects. Our work now covers the mile length of our town, keeping it looking green, clean and tidy. At the last count, we currently look after 36 hanging baskets, 51 planters and 39 beds and pocket gardens - with this number continuing to grow each year – not bad for a core team of just 14 and a relatively small budget!

In 2015 we decided to enter the Keep Scotland Beautiful It’s Your Neighbourhood (IYN) initiative and were delighted to achieve a ‘Thriving’ level of achievement. The following year we took on one of our biggest projects yet when we adopted three sizeable, unloved areas next to our new play park and sports pavilion and grandly called them our ‘Pollinators Patches @ The Park’. That year we were even more pleased to achieve an ‘Outstanding’ IYN certificate. In 2017, encouraged by our friendly and helpful IYN assessor, we decided to make the jump up to the Beautiful Scotland programme. Back then it felt like we had leapt into the big league and we had no idea what we’d let ourselves in for! Thankfully, we had two very lovely judges who sensed our nerves and quickly put us at ease with their enthusiasm and obvious appreciation of our hard work. The feedback from the judges, who are able to stand back and see your efforts through fresh eyes, is invaluable. We were blown away when we achieved a Gold medal certificate along with the New Entrant Discretionary Award AND we were crowned the overall best Large Village too!! The following year we gained our second Gold at the Beautiful Scotland Awards.


Our ‘award-winning’ Pollinators Patches @ The Park – before & after we adopted them.


In 2019, we were over the moon that our continuing hard work at our Pollinators Patches @ The Park was nationally recognised when we were awarded the Beautiful Scotland ‘Garden for Life Biodiversity Discretionary Award’, along with our third Beautiful Scotland Gold medal certificate from Keep Scotland Beautiful.

There is obviously the competitive element for winning your category and for the Discretionary Awards, however, one of the things we love about the Beautiful Scotland awards is that each community is awarded a Bronze, Silver, Silver Gilt or Gold based on their own achievements regardless of what other groups are achieving.

Although there were no awards in 2020, we were delighted to still be able to bring home certificates from both the Royal Horticultural Society (RHS) and Beautiful Scotland for our community’s hard work at keeping our town blooming and looking clean and tidy in that very difficult year. Our experiences during 2020 have reinforced the importance of our work on the wellbeing of so many in our community, including ourselves.

Attending the annual Beautiful Scotland Award Ceremony and celebrations is always a highlight – it went ahead in 2020, albeit virtually. In ‘normal’ times, the glitzy awards ceremony is a real treat when we get to swap our muddy gardening gear for our glad rags. It’s inspiring to see what so many amazing groups of all different shapes and sizes are up to, and to chat to other groups across Scotland, and this helps our own group to keep gently evolving. The regular newsletters and online sessions (these are recorded so can be viewed at a later date if you prefer) also provide great opportunities to connect and learn from other groups as well as providing signposting to sources of funding.  It really does feel as if we are part of a big, nationwide supportive family all working hard towards the same positive aim of making our communities better places. For anyone interested, there are also wider opportunities available too. For instance, we had the chance to take part in the Keep Scotland Beautiful Carbon Literacy for Communities course and attend an RHS UK-wide event at Tatton Park including a great sneaky peak of the Flower Show before it opened to the public!

The Beautiful Scotland awards gives us and our community a common goal to work towards, showing we care about where we live, and this national recognition really helps to keep us all motivated throughout the year. We really would encourage any group thinking about entering, either for the first time or following a break, to get involved – the friendly support network, inspiration and motivation it provides is invaluable!

We were fortunate to be able to work with Butterfly Conservation Scotland who kindly helped us to design one of our signs at our Pollinators Patches @ The Park.

If this blog has inspired you and you would like to get involved in one of our beautifying campaigns, registration is open for both Beautiful Scotland and It's Your Neighbourhood until 30 April 2021.

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