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Communities encouraged to keep Scotland blooming beautiful

Groups working across Scotland to improve their local communities through climate and nature friendly activities are being encouraged to join a network of like-minded people.

We are calling for more groups to join the 250+ which are already part of our Climate and Nature Friendly Communities Network, working to make their local area a better place across the country.

Registration closes on 30 April 2024, and any group interested in joining, either as a Beautiful Scotland entrant or an It’s Your Neighbourhood group, is invited to attend an online open event on Thursday 14 March to find out about the benefits, hear from other groups and ask questions.

Both free to take part in, the two initiatives feed into the Royal Horticultural Society’s (RHS) UK-wide Britain in Bloom campaign, and groups will benefit from access to free support and resources, as well as connecting with similar groups across the country.

Beautiful Scotland and It’s Your Neighbourhood are part of our Climate and Nature Friendly Communities Network, our long-standing environmental improvement initiative which encourages community action and is growing a network of people determined to make a positive difference to their local area.

As well as restoring biodiversity in our communities, groups will be supported, inspired and motivated to spend more time in nature, promoting good physical and mental wellbeing and a shared goal of improving the places we live, work and visit.

In 2023, more than 250 groups registered (from small community allotments to city-wide programmes), with the groups and volunteers donating almost 200,000 hours, equating to an economic value of over £2 million.

While shrubs, flowers and trees are an important part of an entry, there is also a significant focus on environmental, biodiversity and climate change issues, such as reducing water use, planting for wildlife and recycling, as well as addressing litter, graffiti and improving vacant properties or sites.

Groups who register for It's Your Neighbourhood receive support, mentoring and recognition for their ongoing greening and growing efforts throughout the year, whilst Beautiful Scotland has an additional competitive layer, with an annual awards ceremony and the opportunity for the top groups to go forward to the national RHS Britain in Bloom UK Finals.

Juliette Camburn, our Senior Officer, Community Initiatives, said: “Our wonderful Climate and Nature Friendly Communities Network makes such a positive impact on their own local areas and the country.

“Not only does the work of all our groups make our country a nicer place to visit, live and work, their actions play a huge part in protecting and enhancing biodiversity and in helping to reduce the negative impacts of climate change.

“We have such a vast and varied network of groups sharing their work and tips and, whether you have been helping your community be beautiful for years or are just getting started, come and join us.”

Registration for Beautiful Scotland and It’s Your Neighbourhood is now open.

We are also looking for new It’s Your Neighbourhood assessors and mentors to join the volunteer family. If you have a love for gardening, are passionate about improving the environment and a love of gardening, find out more here.

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05 March 2024

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