In 2023, volunteer assessors were estimated to contribute almost 1,000 hours of time to the It's Your Neighbourhood campaign, so it is clear that without the contribution of our expert assessors and the invaluable guidance they give to the entrants, It's Your Neighbourhood would not be the campaign it is today.

If you are interested in finding out more about what it's like to be a volunteer assessor for It's Your Neighbourhood, please read the story in the 'Related Documents' section below.

Find out about our volunteer It's Your Neighbourhood assessors below.

  • Adrian Miles
    Adrian joined the Beautiful Scotland judging and It's Your Neighbourhood assessing teams in 2016. Adrian has been a gardener by profession for over 20 years having given up the fast pace of city life as a marketing executive for a major telecommunications company. Before moving to Scotland in 2009 he qualified in and taught the subject of horticulture for East Surrey College based in Redhill, taking students through Gardening qualifications in ‘City and Guilds’, later to become 'National Vocational Qualifications'. Adrian also starred in the start-up company POD3 TV’s new gardening series when podcasting was in its infancy in 2007. Adrian has had published articles on his gardens in both the Scottish and UK-wide press and opens two gardens in Fife under Scotland’s open-garden scheme. He continues to provide talks on aspects of horticulture. Adrian has a special interest in unusual woodland plants and is a keen rosarian.
  • Alexandra Jones
    Alex joined the assessor team in 2023. She has been a keen gardener for several decades and wanted to meet others who care for the outdoor environment as much as she does. Alex is also a volunteer gardener at an outdoor sculpture park near Edinburgh and volunteers for the Scottish Wildlife Trust, maintaining and restoring different wildlife habitats on sites across Edinburgh and the Lothians.
  • Angela Smith
    Angela trained as a horticulturist and florist 30…something years ago! with Renfrew District Council. She was based in the central nursery in Hawkhead, Paisley, and was part of the propagation team growing on in excess of 350,000 annual bedding plants, perennials and edible crops.  Angela successfully ran her own business 'Angela’s Flowers' in Bridge of Weir, engaging closely with her local community, sharing her knowledge, skills and passion in horticulture, and brought three beautiful children up in her back shop!! Angela has also worked within Education, using horticulture as a vehicle to engage young people from disadvantaged backgrounds and to support life and core skills and, at the same time, building their confidence and self esteem. She has also worked in horticultural therapy centres, delivering holistic therapeutic horticulture, and is presently employed by the Royal Horticultural Society working within Education, Communities and Funding. Angela thoroughly enjoys supporting and assisting schools, community growing groups and individuals to enjoy growing inside and out across Scotland, and she is a happy gardening granny.
  • Colin Ainsworth
    Colin has had a varied and considerable experience throughout the public sector over the past 40 plus years. He started with Blackpool Parks as an apprentice in 1972, then gained a place at the Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh, successfully completing the Diploma course (DHE). He then moved down to Warwickshire College as a Horticultural Technician/Instructor, then moved to Dundee City Council in 1983 as a Parks Training Officer. Colin held other roles within Dundee City Council - Assistant Horticultural Officer, Horticultural Officer and latterly Health & Safety Officer for the then Leisure & Communities Department. Since its, inception Colin was heavily involved in the organisation and logistics for the Dundee Flower & Food Festival. Colin took early retirement in September 2011, is a long standing member of the Hardy Plant Society and has been the Vice Convener for the Scotland & Northern Borders Group of the HPS. Colin judges for Beautiful Scotland as well as assessing for It's Your Neighbourhood.
  • Fiona Duncan
    Fiona's background is in community and market gardening, and she has been involved in community food and growing projects since 2014. Fiona has an MRes in Human Geography and is interested in the connections between the land, people and plants. Her current garden project has been a member of the IYN scheme for several years, and 2024 is her first year as an assessor.
  • Ian Maclennan
    Ian has been assessing, along with his wife Sandra, for many years now, and gives a lot of his time to the campaign.
  • Ian Mitchell
    Ian joined the assessing team in 2015. Ian previously worked for Aberdeen City Council and now works for Aberdeenshire Council as a Landscape Services Officer.
  • Jim Henderson
    Jim has been an assessor now for four years and enjoys every visit he makes. He is an experienced gardener, having worked allotments for more than 50 years, and has been a director of the Royal Horticultural Society of Aberdeen for more than 20 years, being a past Chairman of the Society. He is presently involved in running both adult and children’s gardening workshops for the RHSA in conjunction with Duthie Park in Aberdeen, and also leads Cove in Bloom in all their activities. Jim is now on the board of the recently formed Cove Woodland Trust, which is buying an area of approx. 16 acres of land on which to develop a Community Country Park for the residents of Cove and Altens.
  • John MacLennan
    John joined Keep Scotland Beautiful's team of judges and assessors in 2014. After completing Diploma courses in the mid 1970s at West of Scotland Agricultural College and Royal Botanic Garden, Edinburgh, the majority of his working career was within the flower seed trade. Through this work he came into contact with growers and local authorities throughout Scotland, Ireland and Northern England, advising on plant choice for numerous winning entries in Beautiful Scotland, Ulster in Bloom and Yorkshire in Bloom. John enjoys sharing his knowledge and experiences with others, drawing on over sixty years of involvement with community gardening activities.
  • Linda Evans
    Linda has worked in the charity sector for over 15 years. In 2017 she gained the Royal Horticultural Society's Level 2 certificate in the principles of horticulture, having studied at the Royal Botanic Gardens Edinburgh. She has loved sharing her knowledge and passion for gardening with the It's Your Neighbourhood groups since becoming an assessor in 2016.
  • Lindsay Neil
    Lindsay grew up in Dumfries and Galloway but spent most of her adult life living and working in urban environments. Living in big cities gave her a deep appreciation of the need for green spaces for communities to enjoy. She moved back to Dumfries and Galloway over two years ago and says it is a real joy to be back living in such a truly beautiful area of Scotland. She has previous employment experience as a Criminal Justice Social Worker. Lindsay currently works for the National Trust for Scotland and understands the importance of nurturing and protecting nature for the benefit of current communities as well as future generations to come. She loves spending time with her family in nature and you will often find them down by the sea.
  • Lisa Snedden
    Lisa is a new member of the assessor team for 2022. She has many years’ experience in growing fruit, vegetables and flowers in her allotment and has recently set up a community growing project in her village. She currently works with Keep Scotland Beautiful as a Heritage Officer and is passionate about both built and natural heritage. She is also a Green Flag Award assessor.
  • Lorraine Corbett
    Lorraine has had an allotment since 2002, inspired to have her own growing space after studying Environmental Science. She worked for the Scottish Wildlife Trust, supporting young people’s interest in wildlife and conservation and later supported students and staff at a local university to develop their own food growing area on campus. She is currently the garden representative for her local resident’s association, working with her neighbours to enable wildflowers to grow in the common garden areas.
  • Malcolm Macqueen
    Malcolm Macqueen is chair of Organic Growers of Fairlie and has many years of sustainable community gardening experience. He encourages other groups and individual garden visitors in their garden development.The garden is developing a community woodland and he has been involved with others in the growing and planting of thousands of native broadleafs and Scottish aspens in the area. He involves young people in tree planting and in developing their own gardening skills. He is also involved in the Scottish Allotments and Gardening society.
  • Morag Menzies
    Morag has always been interested in gardening, forestry and ranger work, but did not actually work as a gardener until later in life. Having tried many jobs, gardening was the one that kept her interest, as you never stop learning. She worked as a gardener at Holyrood Palace, where she completed her apprenticeship with a HNC Horticulture. She now works at the Royal Horticultural Society (RHS) working within Education, Communities and Funding. She loves interacting with schools and communities to spread the joy of growing plants and taking the fear out of gardening!
  • Penny Wright
    Penny has been working in the green collar industry for over twenty years, both here in Scotland and in the United States. After moving to the U.S.A. she became involved in community gardening projects as a way to meet new people; through these community projects she discovered her love of plants. Rather than return to her nursing career she embarked on her horticultural journey, fitting in horticultural work and courses around family life. She has worked in various roles within the horticultural field including landscaper, garden designer, landscape crew supervisor and retail. After moving back to the UK Penny embarked on a degree program at SRUC Edinburgh. After two years she joined the staff at the Edinburgh campus as a Horticultural Technician/Instructor, while she continued to study for her degree which she obtained in 2015. Penny is interested in sustainable practices within the green collar industry. Of particular interest to Penny is the use and design of native plants juxtaposed with non-native plants to create diverse planting schemes. Penny also has a passion for composting!
  • Peter Sandwell
    Peter works in the Environment Department of Dundee City Council. He is a Green Flag judge, heavily involved in the Bonnie Dundee entry into Beautiful Scotland, and has been an assessor for It's Your Neighbourhood for a number of years.
  • Sandra Anton
    Sandra works for West Dunbartonshire Council and has assessed for It's Your Neighbourhood for a number of years. She is involved in the Dalmuir Park Restoration project.
  • Sandra Maclennan
    Sandra has been judging for Beautiful Scotland for many years, and also assesses for It’s Your Neighbourhood. She is heavily involved in Forres in Bloom and is a retired head teacher.
  • Sandy Scott
    Sandy was employed with Aberdeen City Council for 40 years, taking early retirement in 2019. He started off as an apprentice gardener and worked his way up through the ranks. He was responsible for development and local strategies within the city relating to green spaces and community involvement. Sandy was the Chair of Aberdeen’s Allotment Forum, past chair of Aberdeen in Bloom and enjoys giving talks on parks and gardens to local groups in the North East. Sandy enjoys all the ‘In Bloom’ campaigns and has been involved one way or another with ‘In Bloom’ initiatives for over 35 years, taking up a judges role for Beautiful Scotland some years ago. He is also a Green Flag judge and It's Your neighbourhood assessor. He firmly believes in supporting both new and established communities, not only to engage in their local environment but, as he has seen all over the country in his judging, communities taking ownership and making major differences to their local area. Sandy is very active in his local Rotary Club and is his Club’s Environmental Officer.
  • Sara Smith
    Sara has been assessing for a number of years.
  • Sarah Turnill
    Sarah joined the list of assessors in 2014 and enjoyed her assessment visits so much she took on the challenge again. It can be a challenge juggling work and life, but meeting people and being shown round gardens, allotments, parks, and village streets is an inspiration. Sarah was a part of a group that achieved Outstanding for their woodland garden for Its Your Neighbourhood, so knows what the groups are going through. Sarah is a committee member for Dunbar in Bloom, which gained a Silver medal award at its first attempt in Beautiful Scotland in 2014. Sarah works as a senior nurse within East Lothian, is involved with the family farm in the Scottish Borders, enjoys visiting other people's gardens in the National garden scheme, tends her own herbaceous border and shows Jacob sheep at local agricultural shows in her spare time!
  • Siobhán Dancey
    Siobhán is originally from Toronto, Canada but came to Scotland in 2004. She has a BScH in Plant Science, a MRes in Crops for the Future, and a PhD in Plant Epidemiology. She is currently self employed as a researcher and science writer with a focus on agriculture, ecology, and climate change. She also has a keen interest in gardening and has had an allotment plot in Dundee since 2016. Her first year assessing IYN for Keep Scotland Beautiful was in 2022, and she found the entire experience inspiring and motivating as it highlights the immense amount of work going on at the community level to protect and maintain local environments, as well as connecting and supporting different groups of people.
  • Steven Shaw
    Steven is the Environmental Manager at Aberdeen City Council. He is passionate about supporting community groups across Aberdeen in the Beautiful Scotland and It’s Your Neighbourhood as he sees the campaigns as being very important to what the council does - and he loves being part of it! Aberdeen's 'in bloom' partner numbers are growing all the time and Steven sees this as key to the on-going success of the Environment Department's services. Steven joined the assessing team in 2015 - after encouraging most of his team to become judges or assessors, he thought it was high time he did the same!
  • Terry Stott
    Terry is a judge for Beautiful Scotland and an assessor for It's Your Neighbourhood. Terry worked with Aberdeen City Council in various positions within the Links and Parks, Leisure and Recreation, Contracting Services and finally as an Area Officer in Environmental Services involved in all aspects of Horticultural for 42 years. In this time Aberdeen was an entrant in Beautiful Scotland and Britain in Bloom winning various awards. Terry retired in 2010, and is now involved with Slopefield Allotments entry to Its Your Neighbourhood, and encouraging and assisting other groups in Aberdeen to become involved in Its Your Neighbourhood. He thinks it is good to get people involved in their neighbourhoods as it makes a huge difference to the area they live in. Terry has been a Beautiful Scotland Judge and an Its Your Neighbourhood Assessor for over six years now, meeting great people and seeing beautiful displays (sometimes the weather does not do its best for the community or judge on the day!). Terry grows annuals and herbaceous plants to exhibit at various Flower Shows; if he is not showing he judges 'Cut Flowers' at several Flower Shows in the area. Terry has been involved with the Royal Horticultural Society of Aberdeen for the past 26 years and Chairman from 2010 to 2013 - the society run a Spring and Summer show annually. In 2014 Terry received a Certificate of Merit from the Royal Caledonian Horticultural Society and in 2017 a Community Champion award from the Royal Horticultural Society.
  • Wendy Henderson
    Wendy has been a keen gardener since childhood and was a founder member of Cove in Bloom. She helps run regular gardening workshops for the Royal Horticultural Society of Aberdeen in conjunction with Duthie Park for both adults and children, and has been Treasurer for the RHSA since 2009. She is now treasurer of the newly formed Cove Woodland Trust whose aim is to buy and maintain a tract of land for the community of Cove and Altens which will be formed into a community park and woodland. Wendy started assessing for It's Your neighbourhood in 2017 and enjoys meeting other groups, offering a helping hand where it is welcomed.
  • Wendy Murray
    Wendy has been a volunteer in her own village of East Haven for over 30 years and became involved with Beautiful Scotland in 2014. Her passion for communities and the environment has led her to become involved with other groups both in Angus and across Scotland. She is an Assessor and trainee Judge with Beautiful Scotland and also represents coastal communities on the Marine Litter Strategy Working Group.

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