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Three Pillars

Beautiful Scotland is judged according to the three pillars of horticultural achievement, environmental responsibility and community participation, which accord with the spectrum of activity of our charity. Therefore, while shrubs, flowers and trees form an important part of a submission, so do considerations of the litter and graffiti in the area and the area’s work on sustainability issues such as planting for wildlife and recycling. This breadth helps groups to focus on general civic pride in their surroundings.

Horticultural achievement

Horticultural achievement (Section A) is worth 40% of the total judges’ marks. Judges look for achievements in the following four key areas, worth 10% each:

  1. Overall impression
  2. Maintenance of planted areas
  3. Plant selection
  4. Plant quality

Entrants should consider the following:

  • Are the overall design and materials used within the entry appropriate to the location and do they generate a positive image?
  • Are the areas within the entry maintained to an appropriate standard, including cultivation, weeding, feeding, pruning, grass maintenance, tree management and maintenance?  
  • Are the plants used in the planting schemes suited to their growing conditions and locations and is there year-round interest (where appropriate)?
  • Are the plants vibrant and grown to their full potential? Are they free of all pests and diseases?

Environmental responsibility

Environmental responsibility (Section B) is worth 30% of the total judges’ marks. Judges look for achievements in the following three key areas, worth 10% each:

  1. Local identity
  2. Natural environment
  3. Hard surfaces and open grass areas (including streets, open spaces and beaches if appropriate)

Entrants should consider the following:

  • Is there a sense of place, with appropriate sense of heritage, art in the landscape, signage and interpretation?
  • Biodiversity including the protection and conservation of the natural environment and wildlife habitat. The provision of appropriate wildflower areas, aquatic and if applicable marine conservation sites, bat and bird boxes as well as insect hotels.
  • To include cleanliness, absence of litter, street weeds, graffiti, vandalism, flyposting and chewing gum, water conservation and recycling initiatives, hard landscape, open spaces and street furniture maintenance and effective dog fouling control measures.

Community participation

Community participation (Section C) is worth 30% of the total judges’ marks. Judges look for achievements in the following three key areas, worth 10% each:

  1. Year round activity and future commitment
  2. Communication and awareness
  3. Funding and support

Entrants should consider the following:

  • Evidence of forward planning and year-round activity highlighting adding value, highlighting any events that make this entry unique and demonstrate the present strengths of the entry.
  • Within the immediate area through regional and local marketing, involving all sections of the community. Communication and media involvement evidenced. Use of suitable interpretation, enabling learning and a greater understanding.
  • Fundraising and on-going support from a range of businesses and organisations appropriate to the size of the entry making it viable and able to continue moving forward.

*Supporting local It’s Your Neighbourhood groups can earn entrants marks in this section.

NB: BID, Urban Community, Town Centre and City Centre entrants should refer to their specific mark sheet for guidance on the key areas and what to consider - this is available here.

NB: The Residential Community category is unique to Scotland - please refer to the Residential Community mark sheet here.

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