Burgh Beautiful Linlithgow
In 2018, Burgh Beautiful Linltihgow was one of five groups representing Scotland in the RHS Britain in Bloom UK finals. The group was presented with a Gold medal certificate and also won the Town category. Ron Smith from the group was presented with a Community Champion Award. For the full list of awards, click here.
Burgh Beautiful aims to encourage civic pride and make Linlithgow more attractive to visitors. Taking a ‘whole town’ and ‘whole year’ approach, providing most floral displays year round, the group has nearly adopted every floral feature formerly maintained by the local council, thanks to tremendous financial and voluntary support from the local community. Over 90 volunteers, along with community partners, maintain 120 hanging baskets, 95 planters and barrels and 35 flowerbeds. Creative gardening is much to the fore around the town centre flats, and the group works with local schools, creating activities to help wildlife, promote heritage, sustainable materials, combat litter and raise funds.
In 2017, the group won the 'RHS Scotland Award for Overcoming Adversity' for its 'Bye Bye' campaign:
In 2016, West Lothian Council stopped providing or maintaining summer bedding, having withdrawn winter displays two years previously. All flower beds would be grassed over and tubs/planters would be removed unless local groups took over the responsibility. After unsuccessful attempts to persuade the Council to reverse its decision, Burgh Beautiful Linlithgow ran a ‘Bye Bye’ campaign which involved placing signs in Council flower beds and planters, saying that, without community support, these floral features would disappear. The campaign was well publicised in the local newspaper and community magazine, as well as through Facebook and the groups’ website. Much to its delight and relief, the response from individuals, groups and businesses in the town was excellent – it doubled the number of volunteers to over 90, and financial sponsorship has increased to a level likely to sustain the floral operations for the foreseeable future. Nearly all town centre flower beds, planters and hanging baskets, and many others elsewhere, are now planted all year round.