Being red hot at green-fingered activities led to a Borders group going for gold at a national awards ceremony.
Melrose in Bloom was among the winners at the 50th annual Beautiful Scotland Awards, held last week in Aberdeen by environmental charity Keep Scotland Beautiful.
Members of the group followed up their victory at this year’s Floral Gateway awards, as reported in last week’s Southern, by claiming a gold prize in the event’s large village category for keeping their home town spick and span and also offering an eye-catching display of flower power.
They also took home a discretionary VisitScotland award for tourism recognising their work in keeping their town clean, tidy and welcoming to visitors all year round.
Jo Robinson, VisitScotland’s regional director for Aberdeenshire, said: “Wildlife and nature tourism is a huge draw for visitors, with 58 per cent of visitors citing the country’s scenery and landscapes as their top reason for choosing Scotland as a holiday destination.
“From ensuring that the community is kept clean and tidy to its stunning, year-round floral displays, Melrose in Bloom has done a tremendous amount of work to ensure a beautiful welcome is afforded to visitors to the town.
“The group is a truly worthy recipient of this year’s VisitScotland award for tourism.”
The Melrose group wasn’t the only success story for the Borders at the event either as Gala in Bloom took a silver gilt award in the medium town class back to Galashiels.
The 12 category winners and 30-plus other recipients of prizes were presented with their trophies by George Anderson, presenter of the BBC One Scotland horticultural show The Beechgrove Garden.
“This is the culmination of many hours of hard work from our dedicated team of more than 50 volunteers, so congratulations to them,” said Melrose in Bloom chairman Quin Dunlop.
Derek Robertson, chief executive of Keep Scotland Beautiful, added: “Quality environments are vital to vibrant communities and good for business, helping to nurture respect for local places and improve wellbeing.”
“All our Beautiful Scotland entrants have committed a lot of their own time and energy to make sure that Scotland’s outdoor spaces are kept clean, green and beautiful.”
“The Beautiful Scotland awards ceremony provides the opportunity to showcase the role that they have played in making a difference.
“It is vital that we reward their efforts and celebrate their achievements.”