Britain in Bloom judges in Aberdeen

Judges from the prestigious RHS Britain in Bloom competition were in Aberdeen today – just days after Beautiful Scotland judges were also in the city.

Rae Beckwith and Kate Dagnall met community groups during a tour of the city which started in Duthie Park and was to finish with a stroll along Cathedral Walk in Seaton Park.

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.

Aberdeen City Council Communities, Housing and Infrastructure vice convener Councillor Jean Morrison said: “It’s a privilege to have the Britain in Bloom judges here, especially in the same week the Beautiful Scotland judges were here too.

“The community groups and City Council have done a wonderful job of ensuring our parks and green spaces look beautiful so it’s good so many of them will be meeting the judges today and showing their projects.”

One of the community groups which met the judges was Friends of Duthie Park and chairman Alan Amoore said: “We are only too delighted to support the City Council’s efforts in the Britain in Bloom competition and we are sure they will be impressed by everything they see around Aberdeen, not just here in Duthie Park.”

The judges were being taken on a tour of Aberdeen which included school projects, Hazlehead Grove Nursery, a community allotment, roundabouts, Union Terrace Gardens, The Rooftop Garden on St Nicholas Shopping Centre, and Old Aberdeen.

Mr Beckwith said: “We had a lovely start meeting volunteers and they were very keen to show us their work and very helpful – I was here in 2008 judging and a lot of things have changed since then.”

UK-wide, Britain in Bloom groups have transformed an estimated 3,459 acres, equivalent to 9.9 Hyde Parks or 1,965 football pitches into green havens for all. Bloom volunteers 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. As part of their commitment to creating green spaces in their communities Britain in Bloom groups, including the 72 finalists, have planted more than 10 million plants, trees and bulbs over the past year.

Andrea Van Sittart, RHS Head of Regional Development, said: ”RHS Britain in Bloom puts communities front and centre as we recognise the amazing work they have done, often under incredibly difficult circumstances.

“This year we will be presenting a new award that will recognise the efforts Bloom groups have made to make their communities greener and more beautiful places, often while facing adversity - from flooding to extreme heat and vandalism. Although the character, selflessness and resolve of Bloom Groups are well known, this new award will shine a light on the often uncelebrated work communities do to make the UK a greener, healthier place to live.”

“The finalists should be immensely proud of all they’ve achieved to get this far, and I wish them the very best of luck!’

Last summer, 72 locations were selected to represent their region/nation in this year’s Britain in Bloom finals, with the category winners to be announced at an awards ceremony in Birmingham on 14 October.