Rothesay scoops silver Bloom prize

ROTHESAY scooped a silver award at the Britain In Bloom prize-giving ceremony this week – a “wonderful achievement” for the town, according to one local councillor.

Up against stiff competition in the ‘small coastal resort’ class, for seaside towns with a population of fewer than 12,000 people, Rothesay lost out to Whitby in north Yorkshire in the fight for the category’s gold award.

But Councillor Len Scoullar said the town could still be proud of its achievement on the first appearance by any Argyll and Bute community in the Britain In Bloom finals.

Councillor Scoullar, who attended the awards ceremony in St Andrews on Sunday with Argyll and Bute Council’s local environmental warden Ailsa Cunningham and Beachwatch Bute ranger Sandra MacMillan, said: “A silver award is a wonderful achievement when you consider the places with much greater resources Rothesay was up against.

“Even to get to the final was a very special achievement, and I’m absolutely delighted for everyone who put so much hard work into our entry.”

Ailsa Cunningham added: “This is the first time that anywhere in the Argyll and Bute Council area has competed in this campaign, and we’ve got involved in creating amazing projects to showcase not just Rothesay, but the whole of Bute.

“This competition has involved everyone on the island, and as a whole the community worked together to make sure that every garden, as well as the public areas, looked the best they could be.

“The judges said that if there was an award for hospitality then Rothesay would have won! We are delighted that we were able to show the rest of Britain just what a fantastic place Bute is.”

The judges’ report on Rothesay was divided into three categories – horticultural achievement, environmental responsibility and community participation – with their findings summed up as follows.

Horticultural achievement

Areas of achievement included the “superb” plantings and glasshouse displays at Ardencraig, the quality of the lawns and borders in the Esplanade gardens, the planters outside the Tartan Shop, and make-over projects at Bridgend Street, Watergate and the Lade.

Areas for development included the need for higher planting density in key areas, the quality of compost in the floral towers, and the need to encourage businesses to include facilities for plantings and floral displays as part of the refurbishment of the local built environment.

Environmental responsibility

Areas of achievement: the recycling efforts of several local groups, anti-dog fouling campaigns and beach habitat quality.

Areas for development: the continuing presence of pavement weeds; renewal of street furniture, such as benches; weather damage to children’s murals.

Community participation

Areas of achievement: good depth of children’s involvement; good relationships with the local press; and the generosity and goodwill of local residents.

Areas for development: new ways of publicising the campaign, new fund-raising activities, and a plan for future projects.