Posted Monday September 24, 2018 by Melissa Reilly

Lanark Community Development Trust  would like to pass on huge congratulations to our partner organisation, Lanark in Bloom, who have been awarded GOLD for the first time at the annual Beautiful Scotland awards! This fantastic award recognises the dedication of Ernest and the volunteers in ‘bringing a little colour to our town’, helping restore Castlebank Park and promoting horticultural knowledge and a love of gardening for locals young and old. 

New volunteers are always welcome at Castlebank Horticultural Centre to support Lanark in Bloom and the Castlebank volunteers. Pop in any Tuesday and Thursday from 9.30am – 3pm. Locals can also support Lanark in Bloom by heading along to their fundraising Plant Sale in the Lanark Tolbooth on Saturday 15th September from 10am – 3pm.

Finally, Castlebank Park, where Lanark in Bloom are based, is 1 of Scotland’s 71 Green Flag Parks and as such needs your votes to be crowned the UK’s Favourite Park! 


Community groups, local authorities and businesses from all across Scotland gathered in Haddington on Thursday 6th September to celebrate the annual Beautiful Scotland Awards, organised by environmental charity, Keep Scotland Beautiful.

The ceremony, hosted by East Lothian Council, supports the achievements of entire villages, towns, cities, residential communities and Business Improvement Districts Scotland-wide in helping to improve the places they care for. This included the efforts of six groups in South Lanarkshire.

The South Lanarkshire winners were:

  • Brighter Bothwell, Gold, Small Town Category Award, Haddington 700 Award
  • Lanark in Bloom, Gold
  • Flourishing Forth, Silver Gilt
  • Uddingston Pride, Silver Gilt, Urban Community Award, Jim Murdie Trophy for Sustainability
  • Bonnie Blantyre, Silver Gilt
  • Dalserf Village Garden Club, Silver Gilt

Ernest and his wife Marjorie collecting Lanark in Bloom’s GOLD award

Volunteers at Castlebank Horticultural Centre

Beautiful Scotland Judging Statement “On visiting Lanark, it is clear that Lanark in Bloom, whose mission statement is ‘putting a little colour in our town’, underestimates its input – numerous hanging baskets and tubs decorate the town and classic parks displays brighten up the local park. Lanark in Bloom has a positive focus on its community – from involving Corner Carers, a group of residents in Castlegate, to students from Clydesdale Community Initiatives as well as from Motherwell College, all sectors of the town’s community are involved.

In 2017, the group, in partnership with Lanark Development Trust, won the ‘Community Involvement Award’ for the Castlebank Park Horticultural Unit:

In partnership with the Lanark Development Trust, the Castlebank Park Horticultural Unit has developed over the past two years. The work carried out at the unit benefits not only Lanark but the wider area around Lanark and further afield. Training is carried out by the Clydeside Training Initiative at the unit, which helps special needs groups. Local schools benefit from classes held at the unit, and the general public are also helped with a number of workshops held on specific gardening subjects. The unit is run by a group of dedicated volunteers who are also benefitting by acquiring new skills. The ongoing development of the unit is also being considered, with plans for a bigger meeting and classroom space converted from an old steading.”

Castlebank Horticultural Centre – new volunteers welcome!

Pete Leonard, Operations Director, of Keep Scotland Beautiful, commented:
“Now in its 52nd year, Beautiful Scotland continues to provide the opportunity to celebrate the achievements of Scotland’s volunteers, local authority staff and businesses and to recognise the tireless efforts of communities across the country who work to clean up, green up and beautify Scotland’s villages, towns and cities.

“I would like to commend the groups from South Lanarkshire for their fantastic work. It is thanks to their efforts that local spaces and places they treasure are maintained to such high standards.”

Beautiful Scotland is managed by Keep Scotland Beautiful, a member of the Bloom Federation which is run by the Royal Horticultural Society (RHS). All entries are judged by an expert team on their year-round achievements and the awards are presented to those who achieve the highest scores in their categories. Discretionary Awards are also given to those who demonstrate excellence in their commitment to the campaign.

In 2018, 11 new entrants joined the competition. 13 category winners and 13 discretionary awards were presented on the night, alongside the prestigious Beautiful Scotland Rosebowl award, which was collected by St Andrews in Bloom as the highest scoring entrant.
A full list of Beautiful Scotland Award winning groups can be found here and images from the awards can be accessed here.

Andrea Van Sittart, RHS Head of Community Outreach said: “Congratulations to this year’s Beautiful Scotland winners whose dedication and commitment to keeping their communities clean and green is incredible. Some of the creative ways that Scottish groups have improved sustainability by recycling and reducing waste, got children involved in the growing and embraced wildlife-friendly planting have really shone out – they are an inspiration.”

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