Beautiful Scotland

Beautiful Scotland in 2021

The deadline for taking part has now closed.  To express an interest for 2022, please email.

There is great potential for our community groups to help maintain biodiversity, make a major contribution to reducing carbon dioxide emissions and prepare for the growing impacts of climate change...so, for 2021, we have chosen the theme of 'Climate and Nature Friendly' for groups to focus activities and celebration events on. For ideas and inspiration, check out our guidance document.

Here are our plans for this year:

It is important to understand that we don’t know what the COVID-19 situation will be through 2021. What follows is our present thinking, which we will develop in light of circumstances:

  • Beautiful Scotland will go forward as close to 2019 as possible e.g. the competition with two judges visiting, following social distancing measures.
  • To widen the appeal, we have introduced a non-judged category for those groups who would like to take part but feel the competition element is too much for them right now.
  • There will be no fee for taking part in 2021/22 – we hope this goes some way to recognising that groups haven’t been able to carry out their usual fundraising this year.
  • If varying levels of restrictions continue, it has been agreed that the best way forward may be to remove overall winner and category awards and just focus on certificate levels (gold, silver-gilt, silver and bronze) with a greater emphasis on discretionary awards.
  • We will have to be flexible, and adapt as the year progresses, in how judging could be carried out depending on restrictions e.g. carried out virtually (e.g. via a chat over Zoom and submission of a portfolio); in addition to this, groups could provide a route map highlighting their key areas and the judging pair (travelling separately) visit and go round themselves, or one judge visits groups near where they live and goes round by themself.
  • At a minimum, we will repeat the support and resources that we provided through 2020.
  • Our priority is to your health and wellbeing, so it’s absolutely fine if you aren’t comfortable having judges visit in 2021/22; or if you wish to be judged virtually; we hope to develop suitable options to enable this.
  • We will increase the level of mentoring and support we offer.

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!

Ray Theedam-Parry, Lauder in Bloom (read Lauder's inspiring journey from It's Your Neighbourhood to Beautiful Scotland).

Beautiful Scotland is a long-established community environmental improvement programme which we run in partnership with the Royal Horticultural Society (RHS) under the Britain in Bloom campaign. Beautiful Scotland supports groups across Scotland as they seek to improve and enhance their local environment. The programme is for a whole village/town etc. In many cases, one group leads the entry, working in partnership with a wide range of other groups, organisations and the local authority.  Beautiful Scotland is based on three pillars – with an extensive set of awards and certificates. [If you are part of a smaller scale group/project, why not take part in our sister initiative - It's Your Neighbourhood?]

in 2021, it is FREE to take part in Beautiful Scotland! Your group will benefit from access to support, networking, resources and national recognition from ourselves and from the RHS - find out more here.

Beautiful Scotland provides the Scottish entrants to the UK-wide Britain in Bloom competition, which is run by the RHS.  The competition takes place between the regional and national winners in 18 areas – Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland, the Isle of Man, Jersey, Guernsey and 12 English regions. The regional winners from any given year are entered into the UK-wide event for the following year.

Scotland has been extremely successful in Britain in Bloom in recent years, with at least one class winner in every year since 2005. Most impressively, Scottish entrants have won the highest Champion of Champion award four times from 2006-2019, with two successes for the large village of Falkland in Fife, one win for the small town of Alness in the Highlands and a win for Perth.

In its current and previous incarnations, Beautiful Scotland has been running for over 50 years. At its launch in 1967, ‘In Bloom’ was run by the then Scottish Tourist Board and supported by the Scottish Women’s Rural Institute, and provided a platform for beautification of villages, towns and cities. The initial focus of the campaign was on horticulture, and while that remains a key theme there is now also a focus on environmental responsibility and community participation.

Beautiful Scotland has a sister programme – which we also run in conjunction with the RHS – called It’s Your Neighbourhood. This is a non-competitive, and is designed to attract volunteer-led community groups who wish to clean and beautify their local neighbourhoods - whether through, for example, community allotments, Friends of Parks groups, after-school clubs, adopting a piece of derelict land. Read more about it It's Your Neighbourhood.

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