Communities encouraged to make Scotland blooming beautiful
We are calling on communities involved in projects to improve their local neighbourhood to join over 200 groups in our environmental improvement initiatives, Beautiful Scotland and It's Your Neighbourhood. Registration is now open until 30 April 2023 and there is no cost to take part. You can find your local group who registered in 2022 here.
These initiatives aim to encourage and inspire community action and feed into the Royal Horticultural Society’s (RHS) UK-wide Britain in Bloom campaign. Beautiful Scotland is for groups who have come together to improve their whole village, town or city, and has judged and non-judged categories, with prestigious awards up for grabs. It’s Your Neighbourhood is for smaller scale projects such as a community garden, a Friends of Park group, or a group of neighbours improving their street or a nearby green space. It isn’t a competition but has Levels of Achievement to encourage progression.
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 repurposing or recycling, as well as addressing litter, graffiti and improving vacant properties or sites. One example of championing biodiversity is Glasgow-based It’s Your Neighbourhood group Yorkhill Green Spaces, which won the NatureScot It’s Your Neighbourhood Pollinator Friendly Award at our annual seminar in November 2022. The group helped reverse pollinator decline by promoting pesticide-free, peat-free gardening and sustainable green space management amongst many other activities which focused on biodiversity in the area. They also recorded four new hoverflies and nine new species of moths last year!
Fiona MacLeod from Yorkhill Green Spaces, said, “Taking part in a national initiative meant that our community could be supported to improve the biodiversity of the local area and we are very proud to have been presented with this award. It’s Your Neighbourhood is a fantastic way to engage your community in helping protect and enhance their local environment.”
Groups are expected to find ways of involving the wider community throughout the year, through activities such as fundraising events and linking up with others. This year, there is an optional theme of Health and Wellbeing to focus activities and events around.
Juliette Camburn, Community Projects Officer at Keep Scotland Beautiful said, “It is becoming increasingly important to focus action on climate change and take positive steps to protect and enhance biodiversity in communities. Volunteers across Scotland make a huge contribution to the essential work being done to tackle the climate and nature emergency we are facing, helping make Scotland clean, green and sustainable for nature and people.
“We’d love people from well-established groups, through to those just starting out, to register for free support and recognition through the Beautiful Scotland or It’s Your Neighbourhood initiatives this year – joining a network of passionate people.”
17 January 2023