Bonnie Blantyre and pals
A group based in Blantyre who want people to feel proud of where they live and to take action to improve the areas that could be more bonnie.
In 2022, Bonnie Blantyre and pals won the Community Horticulture Discretionary Award: Any visitor to Blantyre will receive a ‘wow factor’, no matter what time of year they visit! Through working with the area’s most innovative grower, numerous large planters are brimming with colour, and these are looked after by nearby homeowners. Mining heritage is celebrated through floral coal bogies, spring bulbs are increasing, and a network of groups of all ages lead on various horticultural projects across the community, including wildflower meadows, a community orchard, community gardens growing a vast array of edibles, some worthy of a ’Show Bench’, and most of which are distributed to those in need. The group also involves Community Payback, not only for tasks, but is teaching them transferrable gardening skills.
In 2021, Bonnie Blantyre and pals were joint winners of the Community Involvment Award: Every challenge Bonnie Blantyre set its community, they exceeded expectations. They achieved more in 2020, when things were at their toughest, than ever before. The group went from being a couple of bees, to having a core group of hard working volunteers and a network of individuals across the town, all doing their own wee bit to keep Blantyre bonnie.
In 2019 the group won the 'Keep Scotland Beautiful Award': Bonnie Blantyre burst onto the Beautiful Scotland scene in 2018 and has gone from strength to strength over the past year, led by the wonderful Susan Lindner Kelly. There is an array of wonderful voluntary groups and resources in Blantyre including two It’s Your Neighbourhood groups, TACT Healthy Park and Friends of the Calder, as well as the Community Council, the Community Committee, Blantyre Telegraph, Blantyre Heritage Group and the Blantyre Project. Local businesses, community police, schools and the council are also key partners, with everyone working together to create beautiful spaces, benefit the environment and the community. A few examples: all schools and nurseries take part in the ‘Sunny Blantyre’ sunflower growing competition - over 2,500 sunflower kits were distributed to the children and the campaign’s success was evidenced on Bonnie Blantyre social media, with parents regularly sending in growing progress updates. Many young people who participated in the competition last year were so inspired that they have now set about growing vegetables and flowers of their own. Friends of the Calder is one of Keep Scotland Beautiful’s most proactive anchor groups for our Upstream Battle campaign, surveying and litter picking and running with our behaviour change training to develop a catchy ‘glass litter’ prevention campaign. The group was also awarded our Spring Clean Hero award which recognised the most significant change in their community. Along with TACT Healthy Park, Bonnie Blantyre set about making Blantyre look ‘blooming bonnie’, including planting up ‘pit bogies’, planters with a nod to the Town’s mining past. These planters are taken care of by people in the community. There is a wildflower bed surrounding a memorial for those that lost their life in a pit disaster and Blantyre Old Parish Church and Bonnie Blantyre are working with the Council to see if a better alternative to the current wildflowers can be found.