Melrose and Lauder named best of the bunch at Keep Scotland Beautiful awards

Melrose in Bloom volunteers Gill and Ross Findlay, Val and John Miller and Owen and Pam Edwards with Lindsay Montgomery.
Melrose in Bloom volunteers Gill and Ross Findlay, Val and John Miller and Owen and Pam Edwards with Lindsay Montgomery.

Volunteers in Melrose and Lauder are celebrating having picked up top awards for their efforts in keeping their towns clean, tidy and beautiful.

Volunteers from both towns gathered in Dumfries last Thursday for the 53rd annual awards, organised by environmental charity Keep Scotland Beautiful.

Lauder In Bloom members Trudi Jack, Hugh McKinven, Alistair Smith and Ray Theedam-Parry collect a gold award for best large village from Lindsay Montgomery at the Keep Scotland Beautiful awards.

Lauder In Bloom members Trudi Jack, Hugh McKinven, Alistair Smith and Ray Theedam-Parry collect a gold award for best large village from Lindsay Montgomery at the Keep Scotland Beautiful awards.

Members of Lauder in Bloom were named winners in the large village category of this year’s Beautiful Scotland Awards for a third year running and also picked up the Garden for Life Biodiversity award for the first time.

The group was praised for its efforts in community involvement and promoting environmental responsibility, as well as its commitment to creating its own compost with waste donated from the town’s businesses.

Lauder in Bloom secretary Ray Theedam-Parry said: “We are over the moon that we have been able to bring home another gold for Lauder.

“We are judged on our year round activities in horticultural achievement, environmental responsibility and community participation.

“These awards provide useful opportunities to share good practice, knowledge and skills amongst groups across Scotland and we would encourage others to consider taking part next year.

“We are also delighted to be this year’s winner of the Garden for Life Biodiversity Award for transforming the previously unloved areas at our local park into thriving pollinator patches.

“Grateful thanks go to everyone who helps, supports and appreciates our work...we really couldn’t do it without them.

“These awards belong to the amazing community which we are very lucky to have here in Lauder.

Garden for Life member Jenny Mollison, who presented Lauder with the Garden for Life Biodiversity Award added: “Over four years Lauder in Bloom has worked hard to transform some unloved patches with pollinator-friendly plants blooming over a long period. Explanatory signs highlight which flowers and colours are best for attracting insects.

“Working with Butterfly Conservation Scotland they’ve created an ID sign showing the most likely butterflies to be found locally.

Key to their success in being awarded the award has been their efforts to engage with the whole community, in particular with its younger members through the school gardening club.”

Melrose in Bloom, meanwhile, is celebrating a large village gold award, its third such award which marked their return to the competition after a year out in 2018.

“We have had quite a good year,” Melrose in Bloom chairman Owen Rowlands said. “Everybody has worked very hard and it’s been quite a successful year. Townsfolk have been great and the traders even more so.

“We are really pleased with the award, it’s what we set out to achieve and we’re happy we got what we were aiming for.

“We really couldn’t do it without the help of Melrose people and traders, though.

“Congratulations to Lauder in Bloom and Eyemouth on their awards..I think we have done the Borders proud.”

Keep Scotland Beautiful chairman Lindsay Montgomery, who presented Melrose with their award said: “All across the country outstanding volunteers, local authority staff and businesses help to protect and maintain the outdoor spaces that are precious to us, and bring a wide range of benefits to local communities. Beautiful Scotland celebrates their achievements and provides the recognition that they deserve.

“I would like to congratulate the winners from the Scottish Borders. It is thanks to their efforts that local places continue to be maintained to a high standard for everyone to enjoy.”

Both Melrose and Lauder’s volunteer groups would welcome new members and help. Anyone willing to volunteer can contact Lauder in Bloom on: lauderinbloom@gmail.co.uk, Melrose In Bloom chairman Owen Rowlands on 01896 822024, or search both groups on Facebook.