Edinburgh has won a "best in class" award in the annual Keep Scotland Beautiful awards run by the Royal Horticultural Society. Edinburgh in Bloom, the name given to the campaign run by the Council, won the city award and will now go on to represent Scotland in the Britain in Bloom awards. The city award was won by Aberdeen last year.
Prestonfield and Cameron House Community Gardening Group were also awarded medal certificates by the Scottish charity for the environment in recognition of their efforts in improving their local communities.
The top award, presented at a ceremony in Motherwell yesterday, went to Glenrothes which only in 2009 won a Carbuncle Award for being the most dismal place in Scotland.
During the past year, Edinburgh in Bloom has filled the city’s streets and green spaces with colour, supporting over 11,000 volunteers in litter picks as part of Keep Scotland Beautiful’s National Spring Clean, helped sow 10 wildflower meadows with Edinburgh University, and opened an allotment site at Hawkhill Tower Block for community use.
Cllr Lesley Hinds, the city's Environment Convener, said: "It's fantastic news that Edinburgh has been recognised as the top city in Scotland for its green spaces. I was thrilled to meet the judges when they visited Edinburgh last month and I'm delighted we can now add another Beautiful Scotland City Award to the capital's impressive record of accolades for parks and green spaces."
She added: "The award positively reflects on all the excellent work staff do to keep the city looking attractive all year round. My deepest thanks must also go to all the volunteers and local community groups who have worked hard to successfully transform their local environments. However this is not a time to be complacent as we'll now be looking ahead to next summer's Britain in Bloom competition where Edinburgh will be representing Scotland in the national awards."
Community Groups recognised
A second Edinburgh group, Prestonfield and Cameron House Community Gardening Group was presented with a Bronze medal certificate.
The two Edinburgh Groups were competing with 52 communities from across Scotland in the 2012 Beautiful Scotland competition and was visited by highly-experienced judges during a national tour in July and August.
The judges examine three themes - horticultural achievement, environmental responsibility and community participation.
Derek Robertson, Chief Executive of Keep Scotland Beautiful, said: “Beautiful Scotland, a campaign run by Keep Scotland Beautiful, celebrates the work of communities, from whole cities to villages, who pull together to improve and enhance their local areas. Through floral enhancement, community participation, and taking responsibility for tackling the criminal activity of littering and dog fouling, these two Beautiful Scotland groups makes a massive difference to our capital and country."
“The awards presented at this ceremony go some way to recognising all the endless hours which volunteers and local authorities put in throughout the year to ensure that visitors and local community members are able to enjoy clean, green and sustainable surroundings.”