Forres in Bloom
In 2023, Forres in Bloom were joint winners of the overall Rosebowl Award, won the Medium Town category and the Community Horticulture discretionary award.
Forres is an outstanding example of collaborative work of volunteers to beautify their town, raising environmental awareness and efforts to engage the wider community. As councils face ongoing budgetary challenges, the group has risen to the challenge, to ensure their town is kept looking beautiful and ready for visitors.
‘We Love Where We Live’ is the motto of Forres in Bloom (FIB), a group which has been in existence since 1990. Over the years the town has won Gold Medals in Britain in Bloom, Champion of Champions and Beautiful Scotland. In 2013 the local council reduced support to local groups, and FIB has maintained its high standards by working with local partners and young people to enhance the quality of life and create better and sustainable environments in the historic Royal Burgh.
In 2023, Forres in Bloom won the Community Horticulture Discretionary Award: The group’s planting displays, with a mix of permanent planting and seasonal planting is quite stunning. Plant cuttings are made in Autumn, and taken to the greenhouse which is lined with bubble wrap to keep it frost free. They also split and divide herbaceous plants to plant in other areas of the town, and the amount of work this group does is quite outstanding. The group has taken on the maintenance of most of the planted areas which used to be maintained by the local authority, and also some of the grass maintenance.
In 2021, Forres in Bloom were joint winners of the Community Horticulture Award: Forres in Bloom has a long-standing commitment to improving the local environment. Initially this was through traditional floral displays, but the group have adapted as times have changed, taking on more responsibilities as council resources for horticultural displays have diminished. The group have maintained their high standards whilst extending the breadth of their work to include work with children and to include more sustainable environmental practice.
In 2019, Forres in Bloom won the 'Jim Murdie Trophy for Sustainability': The group celebrated its 30th anniversary this year and was honoured with the Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service which recognises the sustainability of the group. Over the years the group has faced adversity and, with the support of the community, has continued to thrive. Since 2013 Moray Council has given the group the use of a rundown former depot which it has regenerated to create a professional standard nursery which allows it to grow all the plants required for displays throughout the town. The financial support from residents and businesses allows the group to show that ‘We Love Where We Live’.