AS Beautiful Scotland judging begins, Melrose aims to shine for community green award.

Melrose In Bloom entered for the Large Village category in this year’s Beautiful Scotland awards.

And they were judged last week for their floral displays.

Over 50 Melrose In Bloom volunteers contribute over 2,000 hours annually to keep the town looking good.

With traders and residents donate generously to keep the work going.

Now that the planters are blooming and the streets are clean, the community is ready to showcase its hard work to the Beautiful Scotland judges.

Over a 14-day period, pairs of highly experienced volunteer judges will visit entrants, including Melrose, as part of a tour which takes in small villages, large towns and our major cities.

During the judging tour three themes are examined - horticultural achievement, community participation and environmental responsibility.

This is used to discover which communities have been most successful in improving the attractiveness, cleanliness and sustainability of the places for which they care.

Melrose was evaluated last Thursday by two judges from Keep Scotland Beautiful in the Large Village category.

Both judges, Terry Stott and Sandra MacLennan, were escorted around Melrose by Owen Rowlands, Chair of Melrose In Bloom, and Kate Hunter, Secretary.

Kate told us: “These activities could not happen without the many hundreds of people committing thousands of hours to looking after their communities.

“We have over 50 volunteers, ranging in age from pre-school to someone in their 90th year - ‘nursery to ninety’ - all of whom have been working hard this year to keep Melrose looking good for residents and visitors alike.”

“We hope we impressed the judges who visited Melrose today (Thursday).”

Melrose has won many awards for its floral displays and visitors to the town often comment on how beautiful it looks.

Juliette Camburn, from Keep Scotland Beautiful, said: “Communities, local authorities and businesses that enter Beautiful Scotland have already made a massive contribution to ensuring that our country is nicer place to live, visit and work.

“The entrant groups pull people together to build stronger communities and continue to make a massive difference to Scotland’s environment while having fun at the same time.

“I’d like to wish all the entrants the best of luck and look forward to celebrating all their achievements with them at the 2019 award ceremony.”

Winning communities will be presented with awards at a ceremony September 12.

The overall winner will be presented with the prestigious Rosebowl Trophy, while several discretionary awards will be presented for outstanding performance in areas such as biodiversity, tourism, and community involvement.

Some of the winners from Beautiful Scotland 2019 will go on to represent Scotland in the RHS Britain in Bloom Final in 2020.