Linlithgow’s voluntary green-fingered gardening group - Burgh beautiful - have every right to be enjoying their recent success in the Britain In Bloom competition.
What an achievement! “Didn’t they do well” can be heard throughout the Burgh! At the Britain in Bloom awards ceremony in Bristol on 16th October, Linlithgow won a Silver Gilt award.
Over seventy communities from all over Britain compete in this prestigious competition. The final contestants were drawn from some 1,600 communities who compete at regional and national level. Linlithgow, representing Scotland in the “town” category, was right up there among the best in the UK. The dedicated group work hard during the year to improve the look of the town with stunning hanging baskets, colourful beds and planters and a range of other horticultural and environmental initiatives.
Ron Smith, chairman of Burgh Beautiful, commenting on the town’s success said: “I am very pleased that Linlithgow’s floral and environmental efforts have received national recognition through the Britain in Bloom awards. By any standard, a Silver Gilt award from the Royal Horticultural Society is a wonderful accolade for the town. It is a just reward for all the hard work done by Burgh Beautiful members, by Council staff and by everyone throughout the community to make Linlithgow a more attractive place for residents and visitors.”
The judges commented favourably on a whole range of aspects of the town. They liked the way Burgh Beautiful had used the history of the town, incorporating the new perambulation of the Marches and Annet House rig into its presentation for the competition. They also commented very favourably on the work and commitment of Burgh Beautiful’s volunteers.
Community involvement is critical to success in Britain in Bloom.
Businesses and individuals sponsor hanging baskets and planters. Linlithgow Grange Rotary helps with Burgh Beautiful’s litter picking. School pupils worked towards gaining eco-school awards. 4th West Lothian Beaver Scouts planted crocus bulbs, and then bedding plants in the new Mill Road border. The Girls’ Brigade developed the bed at the Vennel. Donaldson’s School pupils put up bird boxes on the Doomsdale site and helped the community gardeners. The Scouts helped out with planting and placing wooden sculptures at Water Yett. There are many other organisations who have helped in constructing the Silver Gilt award-winning entry, but it is the energetic and hard-working Burgh Beautiful volunteers who pull it all together.
Executive councillor for the Environment, Tom Conn. West Lothian Council said:I’d like to congratulate everyone that was involved in Linlithgow’s Britain in Bloom award success recently. I entirely agree with Ron Smith’s words when he said that it was a great reward for all the hard work of our volunteers. To receive a Silver Gilt Award in such a prestigious competition is a tremendous achievement, especially considering that it was achieved on a National stage. Council staff, local businesses, community planters, local children, and many local people and groups worked together with limited resources to support Linlithgow’s entry. It is truly a community award and one which the entire town of Linlithgow will be proud of.”
Despite all of this Burgh Beautiful needs even more help. Would you like to join? In fact three specific roles need to be filled with some urgency. Burgh Beautiful rents ground at its Clarendon base, off Manse Road, where there is space for some aspiring green-fingered individual to create a small allotment in return for managing the polytunnel. Or, if you are good with a hammer or paintbrush, Burgh Beautiful is looking for someone to volunteer to manage their buildings at Clarendon. This year, for a number of reasons, Burgh Beautiful had to call in a contractor to help with watering the hanging baskets, a costly exercise at £2000. For next year new ways of watering need to be explored. Do you have a vehicle which could tow a bowser? Can you assist? As well as these positions all help is welcome: if you have an interest in improving your town Burgh Beautiful would welcome your support no matter how much or how little you can offer. Please contact: firstname.lastname@example.org