Volunteers needed to maintain Linlithgow’s floral displays

The flowerbeds at The Vennel in Linlithgow
The flowerbeds at The Vennel in Linlithgow

Calls are being made for more volunteers and sponsors to come forward to ensure Linlithgow remains ‘blooming’ beautiful.

It follows a decision by West Lothian Council to cease providing its attractive 
summer floral displays throughout the town centre due to additional spending cuts.

The decision has dismayed local environmental group Burgh Beautiful Linlithgow (BBL) as, over the coming months, the council proposes to remove around 20 High Street floral planters and tubs.

It also plans to turf over flowerbeds at the Vennel, Learmonth Gardens, St Ninian’s Road, Linlithgow Bridge and in front of Low Port Primary School.

Chris Gunstone, BBL chairman, said: “Although we’ve conveyed our disappointment to council officials, it’s a political decision and it seems we’re powerless to change their mind. But they are willing to work with us on other solutions.

“If we want to keep any of these displays, it’s up to us as a community to adopt them. This means we need more volunteers to come forward and more basket and tub sponsors to provide the funds to buy the materials.”

The Burgh Beautiful Linlithgow group, which has won prestigious Beautiful Scotland and Britain in Bloom awards for the town, works with local groups, schools and businesses already and maintains some 20 flowerbeds or horticultural displays, 62 barrels and planters and 120 hanging baskets across the town.

A West Lothian Council spokeswoman said: “Many local authorities have successful arrangements in place for community groups to adopt planters, baskets and open areas.

“To support and improve Linlithgow the council provides additional match funding to the Linlithgow Business Improvement District of up to a maximum of £80,000 and support for the Town Centre Management Group.

“This money is provided for the community to use for local projects. Burgh Beautiful has also expressed an interest in maintaining the planters and beds.”

While there is disappointment at the council decision, Averil Stewart, the group’s vice-chairwoman, said: “It’s not the time to sit back and complain – instead we would love to hear from anyone or any organisation, ‘green-fingered’ or not, interested in helping out.”

Anyone interested in helping BBL should contact burgh-beautiful@lct.org.uk or call 01506 842582.