Groups recognised for efforts to keep communities beautiful

Published: Monday 23 November 2020

Blooming flowers

Sixteen South Lanarkshire groups have been acknowledged by Keep Scotland Beautiful for their work to enhance their local areas.

Each year, the environmental charity runs two environmental-improvement programmes for communities in partnership with the Royal Horticultural Society: the Beautiful Scotland campaign and the It’s Your Neighbourhood initiative. In previous years, groups across Scotland would have been out creating and maintaining community gardens or allotments, looking after habitats for wildlife and adopting streets.

However, the challenges of 2020 meant that many groups had to stop or curtail their planned activities for the year and find new ways to help their communities, whether that be through setting up a food bank, encouraging and supporting others to grow their own, creating virtual garden tours, connecting with their members through online catch-ups and keeping their neighbourhoods bright and cheerful. 

And 16 groups in South Lanarkshire are amongst those from across Scotland to have impressed so much with the work volunteers and supporters did manage to carry out to brighten up and pull their neighbourhoods together that they were issued with Certificates of Recognition at Keep Scotland Beautiful’s online seminar this month.

Beautiful Scotland awards were won by Bonnie Blantyre, Brighter Bothwell, Flourishing Forth, Lanark in Bloom and Uddingston Pride.

In Blantyre, the work of three groups was acknowledged by the It’s Your Neighbourhood: Friends of the Calder, Handibode Community Garden and TACT Healthy Park, as were Larkhall’s Millheugh Community.

Certificates of Recognition for It’s Your Neighbourhood were also received by Friends of Holmhills Wood Community Park, in Cambuslang, Fernbrae Meadows Allotments Association, Cathkin, and Grow 73 and Friends of Fernbrae Meadows, both for their work in Rutherglen.

Receiving the same recognition were East Mains Community Council, East Kilbride, Forth Eco Site, and Lanark Community Development Trust.

Councillor John Anderson, Chair of Community and Enterprise, said: “Considering the challenges Covid-19 has brought to us all this year, there has never been a more important time to recognise and celebrate the achievements of communities and individuals across South Lanarkshire.

“Throughout lockdown and the following months, groups have worked tirelessly to improve their communities through horticulture, environmental responsibility and working in partnership for the benefit of residents, visitors and our natural environment, and I can’t commend them or thank them enough for their inspirational efforts."

Although Keep Scotland Beautiful’s judging and mentoring visits were not able to take place due to the restrictions across Scotland, groups were still supported with online seminars, networking events, question-and-answer sessions and a weekly e-newsletter.

Barry Fisher, CEO of Keep Scotland Beautiful, said: “We have been amazed by the desire of communities, volunteers and local authorities to stay connected, motivated and inspired by each other, all with a steadfast determination to do things to make a difference, even if this had to be done differently this year. 

“I’d like to thank all the groups in South Lanarkshire for the efforts they have made to keep Scotland beautiful this year.”

Andrea Van Sittart, the Royal Horticultural Society’s Head of Community Outreach, added: “It’s truly inspiring that so many Scottish communities have continued to support others in need this year. The groups have shown incredible creativity and ingenuity responding to the needs of their diverse communities through this challenging time, and congratulations to all of them on their amazing efforts.”

If you’d like to join the network in 2021, check it out online for inspiration and details on how to get involved.

Environment image