Two Rosebowls in six years: that’s the proud Bute boast after an island community group won the top prize in the annual Beautiful Scotland awards.
And Bute in Bloom’s overall victory - repeating the island’s triumph of 2010 - wasn’t the only accolade awarded to the island at Thursday’s ceremony in Perth.
The group also won the Dave Kerr Trophy for the best entry in the ‘coastal towns’ category, and received three gold certificates: one in the coastal towns section, one for their overall triumph, and one more after being chosen as the winner of the scheme’s Community Involvement Award.
Judges Sandy Scott and John McLennan visited Rothesay on August 7 to run the rule over the town’s entry - a more community-based effort than ever before - and saw the Esplanade gardens, the town centre work of the THI and For Bute, the Chapelhill rockery, Rothesay Pavilion, the Grow Bute allotments, the new garden opposite the Moat Centre, Bute Produce at Ashfield, and the council-run Ardencraig Gardens.
In their summing-up of the Bute In Bloom competition entry, they said: “On arrival at Rothesay, this renowned seaside resort, the visitor is greeted with a mass of traditional bedding displays.
“Bute is also forward thinking with several biodiversity projects and is actively involved in the conservation of Bute’s horticultural heritage – be it potatoes, roses or dahlias.
“The local authority plantings at the promenade have a total ‘wow’ effect. Bute in Bloom has a clear focus on its future, with increasing activities throughout Bute from work with school age children at Mount Stuart, assistance in work within the Parks team, developing heritage horticultural work, Bute Beachwatch, and through ‘HELP’, an interest in young vulnerable people.”
The Beautiful Scotland scheme, run in partnership with the Royal Horticultural Society, rewards communities’ efforts in three key areas - horticultural achievement, environmental responsibility and community participation.
Derek Robertson, chief executive of Keep Scotland Beautiful, which runs the awards, said: “We sometimes forget the massive impact that a clean and safe environment has on local communities. But there is ample evidence that a good local environment can deliver a broad range of associated benefits in terms of physical and mental health and wellbeing, community cohesion and civic pride, and the creation of economic opportunities.
“Bute in Bloom is to be congratulated for the Rosebowl win, but this is a great day for all entries who have done their bit to improve their environment.”