Milngavie in Bloom
Milngavie in Bloom has just celebrated 10 successful years. The group began at the station and then tackled the pedestrian precinct. It adopted the Antonine Garden that was relocated from the Glasgow Garden Festival and supports a small group which tends the flower beds at the Town Hall and Lillie Art Gallery. For the past five years, assisted by Bearsden and Milngavie Ramblers the group has replanted the start of the West Highland Way. The group works with local schools, the Youth Centre, youth organisations and local churches. In 2011 it formed a Clean Sweep group to tackle litter and it participates in the Spring Clean each year.
In 2019, Milngavie in Bloom won the 'VisitScotland Discretionary Award for Tourism': It is well known internationally that Milngavie is the starting point of the West Highland Way, Scotland’s first long distance walking route that was officially opened by Lord Mansfield at Balmaha on 6 October 1980. Each year since, tens of thousands of walkers complete the entire length of 96 miles from Milngavie to Fort William or tackle a section of the Way. Until recently, apart from the granite obelisk in the pedestrian precinct, there was little else to signify the importance of the Way to Milngavie or recognise the contribution of the late Tom Hunter, who first proposed the Way. Inspired by the statue erected at Balmaha to the late Tom Weir, climber, author and broadcaster, Milngavie in Bloom decided to rectify this situation. As a result of some very generous donations, the group commissioned a statue in the profile of a striding walker. East Dunbartonshire Council cleared the raised bed located on one of the main roads into Milngavie and the group contacted local companies who kindly donated a membrane, laid gravel and boulders, constructed a concrete base, installed the statue and planted the bed with a variety of plants and a slate path to symbolise the typical landscape of the Way. The group has also commissioned a plaque to inform residents and walkers about the statue and held a ceremony to dedicate the statue to the memory of Tom Hunter.