Wigtown scoops Keep Scotland Beautiful prize

A Beautiful Scotland award has been presented to Wigtown in Bloom in recognition of their efforts in improving the local community.

At an award ceremony in Aberdeen held on Friday, Lord Purvis, ambassador for Keep Scotland Beautiful, announced that Wigtown in Bloom had won the VisitScotland Award for Tourism in the 2013 Beautiful Scotland Awards.

The group was presented with the Silver Gilt award for large village by Ken Massie, Head of Partnership Relations at VisitScotland.

The expert volunteer judges who visited Wigtown said: “This charming large village has an enthusiastic and committed band of volunteers and an inspiring community spirit. The Nature Reserve is a huge asset to the village, and the education and support provided by the RSPB is much valued by the community.

“Wigtown in Bloom helps to promote efforts to attract tourists by regenerating the town square gardens, providing colourful troughs, baskets and formal bedding and encouraging residents and businesses to support the campaign with floral and financial assistance. The community efforts make Wigtown a most attractive tourist destination.”

Beautiful Scotland is a competition run by the independent charity Keep Scotland Beautiful in partnership with the Royal Horticultural Society. Entrants are judged on their year-round horticultural achievement, environmental responsibility and their community participation.

The award ceremony is the climax of a year of continuous work by local people throughout Scotland and was attended by almost 150 people. Awards were presented to a wide range of communities, all of whom had achieved the highest scores in their categories. In addition, Discretionary Awards were given out to those who demonstrated excellence in their commitment to the campaign.

Lord Purvis said: “I would like to congratulate everyone who was involved in achieving this result for Wigtown, and would also like to commend all of the communities helping to make Dumfries and Galloway, and Scotland, a cleaner, greener place for us all to enjoy today and tomorrow - through floral enhancement, community participation, and taking responsibility for tackling the criminal activity of littering and dog fouling, Beautiful Scotland groups make a massive difference to our country.”