Aberdeen in the RHS Britain in Bloom Finals 2016
The city of Aberdeen has been selected from more than 600 entrants to take part in the Royal Horticultural Society (RHS) Britain in Bloom UK Finals 2016.
Aberdeen is one of 72 finalists from across the UK and is in the city category. The group was selected for its outstanding commitment to environmental responsibility, community participation and gardening achievement.
This year brings the total number of times the city has been in the finals to 21, from 1965 onwards to the present.
In August this year, Aberdeen's passionate volunteers will be showing off their commitment to a greener, healthier Britain. They will lead RHS Britain in Bloom judges on a tour of local projects and initiatives in the hope of being awarded Gold at the annual award ceremony in October.
In recognition of challenges some RHS Britain in Bloom 2016 UK finalists face as a result of the recent floods, the RHS has created a new award to honour those who have battled against adversity.
The RHS discretionary award for overcoming adversity will recognise those groups that have worked in difficult circumstances to put the bloom back into their towns, villages and cities across England, Northern Ireland, Scotland, Wales, Jersey and Guernsey.
Aberdeen City Council Communities, Housing and Infrastructure vice-convener Councillor Jean Morrison said: "This is a fantastic accolade for all the hard work carried out not only by our dedicated staff, but also for the volunteers, community groups and In Bloom groups which make our city a beautiful place to live, work and visit.
"These groups and individuals have all helped tremendously in the clean-up since Storm Frank but there is still a lot of work to go, and it's good the RHS has recognised this with its new category.
"We look forward to showing the judges around Aberdeen in the summer when the city will be at its blooming best."
Andrea Van Sittart, RHS Head of Community Outreach, said: "We would like to congratulate Aberdeen for reaching the UK finals of RHS Britain in Bloom. It's a tremendous achievement and illustrates the groups' impressive commitment to improving their local environment.
"Volunteers of all ages and all walks of life participate in Bloom, making extraordinary efforts to improve streets and neighbourhoods in towns, villages and cities across Britain. It is vital we celebrate and recognise their efforts to strengthen their communities and inspire others to get involved."
Britain in Bloom groups are assessed on a wide range of initiatives, such as the maintenance of parks and communal gardens, the management of natural spaces, community campaigns to promote recycling and environmental awareness, and projects involving local residents and schools.