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Keep Scotland Beautiful launch initiatives to celebrate community environmental groups

By Alan Beresford

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ENVIRONMENTAL charity Keep Scotland Beautiful is inviting community groups working to boost their areas to join the 2022 Beautiful Scotland and It's Your Neighbourhood initiatives.

Keep Scotland Beautiful have launched their It's Your Neighbourhood contest for 2022.
Keep Scotland Beautiful have launched their It's Your Neighbourhood contest for 2022.

Groups with an interest in improving their local environment – from cities and towns, to villages, parks or community gardens – are welcome to register and take part, with a deadline of April 30.

Run by the charity in partnership with the Royal Horticultural Society (RHS), the projects give volunteers and groups the chance to benefit from expert support, resources and recognition for their efforts to protect and enhance their local places. The charity's team of expert volunteers also provides mentoring throughout the year.

Following on from the success of last year’s theme of Climate and Nature Friendly, and joining the national celebration of Scotland’s stories, 2022’s theme will be the Year of Stories.

Groups will have the option to build on last year’s projects or start new projects and focus activities around this, finding innovative and creative ways to tell the tale of their endeavours. Some ideas are: Instal new interpretation panels to showcase your area’s history or natural wonders; Run a poster or short story competition for young people, with the winners displayed in a prominent location; Use plants to tell a story.

In 2021, Keep Scotland Beautiful supported and celebrated the achievements of over 250 groups across Scotland. The dedicated volunteers overcame the challenges of the last year, finding new ways to look after and enhance the places they care about.

This year a full Beautiful Scotland competition will be held, after a two-year pause, with medal certificates, category awards including the prestigious Rosebowl, and discretionary awards being presented at a ceremony in the autumn. Judging will be held from August 1-14. There will also be a non-competitive option, allowing groups to connect with others and take part without the pressure of a judge’s visit.

Catherine Gee, Deputy CEO of Keep Scotland Beautiful said, “The last year has been very important for action on climate change in communities.

"Volunteers across Scotland make a huge contribution to the essential work being done to tackle the climate and nature emergency we are facing, helping make Scotland clean, green and sustainable for nature and people. As a recognition of this and of the challenges faced by groups over the last year, the registration fee for Beautiful Scotland was removed in 2021 and entry will also be free this year.

“We’d love people from well-established groups, through to those just starting out, to register for free support through the Beautiful Scotland or It’s Your Neighbourhood initiatives this year – joining a network of passionate people who they can share their stories with and learn from.”

An online information session will be held on Thursday, February 17 from 6pm to 7pm. The session will focus on the year ahead, the support and resources available, how group's activities will be recognised through the year and meeting other communities and volunteers from across Scotland. All are welcome – please email beautifulscotland@keepscotlandbeautiful.org for joining instructions if you are not already registered with Beautiful Scotland or It’s Your Neighbourhood.

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