Our annual environment awards celebrate success across Scotland

We have recognised and celebrated groups from across Scotland at our virtual Beautiful Scotland celebration and award ceremony today (Wednesday 19 October), acknowledging all that they do to enhance and protect their local areas.

The ceremony recognised the dedication of volunteers, businesses and local authorities, working in partnership across the country to improve the places they care for. Forty-six groups entered the programme in 2022, with 28 achieving Medal Certificates, 11 winning awards for topping their category, 14 being recognised with special discretionary awards, as well as the prestigious Rosebowl. The awards marked their achievements in planting and growing, taking care of the local environment and involving the local community. In addition, 18 groups were awarded with a Certificate of Recognition.

This year we were able to run a full Beautiful Scotland competition, after a two-year pause, culminating in the online ceremony. We are also planning a series of visits across the country later in the year to present some certificates and awards in person.

Judging visits took place from east to west, from 1-14 August 2022. A non-competitive option was included for the second year running, enabling groups to connect with others and take part in the programme without participating in the judged element. You can find out how all our groups have done this year in our awards and certificates section here.

The prestigious Beautiful Scotland Rosebowl award was collected by joint winners Aberdeen Communities Together and East Haven Together, as the highest scoring entrants.

Judges Stan da Prato and Andrew Hogarth praised Aberdeen Communities Together for the central display in Seaton Park which they described as a ‘highlight’ and called the David Welch Winter Garden ‘one of the best displays of indoor plants in Britain’. The judges also noted that more than 2,000 volunteers held almost 500 clean-ups in 2022 and highlighted the organisations helping people with addiction and mental health issues who are making good use of otherwise empty greenhouses at Hazelhead. The townscape at Marischal College was described as outstanding and the two judges also highlighted the Victorian Corridor’s ‘remarkable collection of pelargoniums’.

For Angus group East Haven Together, judges Sandy Scott and Adrian Miles praised the residents for taking great pride in their own gardens, highlighting one garden specialising in begonias which ‘was very eye catching, again with an immaculate lawn to set off the display.’ The judges also said: “The beach award flag was flying, and the community have taken part in the Keep Scotland Beautiful My Beach Your Beach campaign as well as initiating their own litter picks.”

There was also praise for the environmental responsibility within the community regarding two issues – NATO waste being dumped offshore, and the site of a toxic dump being discovered adjacent to the village – and judges noted their admiration for the community in their persistence and determination with these matters, raising awareness, tracking down the sources and bringing about accountability.

With 2022 being Visit Scotland’s Year of Stories, this was an optional theme for entries and there was a one-off discretionary Year of Stories Award – which was scooped by Aberdeenshire group Stonehaven Horizon Project.

Our Chief Executive, Barry Fisher, said: “We’re facing a climate and nature emergency, but we know that communities across Scotland have been working tirelessly to protect and enhance their neighbourhoods, reconnecting with the environment and their communities, and rebuilding after the challenges lockdowns have posed.

“All across the country, outstanding volunteers, community groups, local authority staff and businesses help to protect and maintain the outdoor places that are precious to us, and bring a wide range of benefits to local communities. Beautiful Scotland celebrates their achievements and provides the recognition that they deserve.

“I would like to thank every single entrant for their fantastic work. It is thanks to their efforts that local spaces continue to be maintained to a high standard.

“I am also excited to announce that the optional theme for next year’s Beautiful Scotland programme will be Health and Wellbeing.”

Kay Clark, RHS Community Development Manager, said: “It is really encouraging to see community gardeners using their talents to help address the defining issue of our time and embrace planet-friendly gardening. Gardeners across Scotland are turning to novel and inspiring ways to support the environment, wildlife and ensure their local areas are attractive places to live and work.  Congratulations to them all.”

We operate Beautiful Scotland in association with the Royal Horticultural Society. If you’re interested in joining our Beautiful Scotland family in 2023, find more information here.

19 October 2022

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