Aberdeen was judged today for Champion of Champions Blooming award

Judges from the prestigious RHS Britain in Bloom competition were in Aberdeen today to decide if the city is the ultimate winner – the Champion of Champions.

The visit, which came a week after Beautiful Scotland judges were also in the city, started with Britain in Bloom chairman of the judging panel Roger Burnett and senior judge Jim Goodwin meeting community groups which help to keep our green spaces beautiful.

Mr Goodwin said: “I haven’t been in Aberdeen for about 30 years and coming back is a big experience for me as I knew David Welch, the late director of parks in Aberdeen, and it’s nice to see how his memory has been kept in the David Welch Winter Gardens.”

Mr Burnett said: “This is a returning visit for me and it’s fantastic to see the progress the city is making. We met some community groups and they’re very complimentary about the help they receive from the City Council, and I know the city appreciates the work they are carrying out – it’s a great partnership.”

The tour of the city started in Duthie Park and included the school ‘design a flowerbed’ competition winners, viewing community, a visit to a winning entrant in ACC’s Bloom Garden Competition, through residential areas, community allotments, beekeepers, social enterprise groups, Hazlehead Park, a Clean Aberdeen, a school garden, through the city centre, Union Terrace Gardens, St Nicholas Street Roof Garden, the Countryside Rangers Service, and finishing with a stroll along Cathedral Walk in Seaton Park. There was considerable involvement from the various Friends groups around the city too.

When assessing Aberdeen, judges will take into consideration three key criteria - horticultural achievement, community participation and environmental responsibility – which are demonstrated across public spaces such as town or city centres, parks and communal gardens, as well as natural spaces including conservation areas and wildflower meadows.

Each entry’s final score also takes into account a whole range of complementary factors, from the condition of street furniture to the engagement of young people in Bloom activities.

The Lord Provost of Aberdeen Barney Crockett said: “It’s a privilege to have the Britain in Bloom judges here, especially just a week after the Beautiful Scotland judges.

“The community groups and City Council staff have done a wonderful job of ensuring our parks and green spaces are at their best so it’s fantastic so many of them have met the judges.

“There are dozens of community groups around the city and their effort and work are very much appreciated in ensuring our parks and other green areas are kept looking beautiful.”

UK-wide, Britain in Bloom groups have transformed derelict land into community gardens, greened grey spaces, brightened up streets with floral displays, cleared litter, grown fresh produce, and so much more. In the 53rd year of this quintessentially British gardening competition, the judges will visit the 78 villages, towns and cities chosen to fly the flag for their communities in the prestigious UK finals.

Aberdeen is competing against Elswick (North West), Harrogate (Yorkshire), Hillsborough (Ulster), Oldham (North West), Portishead (South West) and St Peter Port (Guernsey) for the title of Champion of Champions, the ultimate Britain in Bloom award.

The results of this year's competition will be announced at the Britain in Bloom awards ceremony in Llandudno, North Wales, on 27 October.