COMRIE has been awarded gold in the Champion of Champions category at the Royal Horticultural Society Britain in Bloom Awards for 2011.
Britain in Bloom, supported by Anglian Home Improvements, is one of the largest environmental campaigns in Europe, which works to improve people’s lives through community gardening.
TV gardener and presenter Rachel De Thame hosted the prestigious RHS awards ceremony at the weekend, which was held in the Fairmont Hotel, St Andrews, and attended by a record-breaking 470 community and gardening champions.
Muriel Gregory, chair of Comrie in Colour, said: “Participating in RHS Britain in Bloom gives our group the impetus to carry on making the village a colourful place to live in and our work with the school children means that we can pass on our knowledge to the next generation.
“We gain satisfaction for all our work, from the complements that are given to us by the villagers and visitors to Comrie, and get the pleasure of seeing the faces of the children when they harvest for the first time, the vegetables that they have grown.”
This year, around 200,000 volunteers from across the UK have collectively invested 4.4million hours (the equivalent of more than 500 years) of their free time to the campaign. The awards ceremony is the culmination of all this hard work and celebrates the efforts that more than 1,000 communities nationwide have put into making the UK a more beautiful, clean and environmentally friendly place to live.
Chair of the RHS Britain in Bloom UK judging panel, Roger Burnett, led a team of 12 RHS judges who toured the UK in August visiting the 76 UK finalists, nominated from more than 1,000 participating communities. The judges assessed against three key criteria: horticultural achievement, community participation and environmental responsibility.
Roger said: “My fellow judges and I noticed this year that many communities are facing even greater challenges than ever before because of financial conditions, political changes, civil unrest and that’s not even to mention the unpredictable British weather.
“But we are extremely pleased to report how we have seen many communities using RHS Britain in Bloom as a solution and really pulling together as a group of volunteers, as communities, to continue to move forward facing down everything from a tornado to damage from rioting. No matter what the challenge, these finalists were facing it with determination and spirit and making their communities better places in which to live.”
Roseanna Cunningham MSP said: “These awards represent a tremendous achievement and I am delighted for everybody in Comrie, Perth and Scotlandwell who have contributed to this success.
“Many people in communities throughout Perth and Kinross work extremely hard throughout the year and it is great to see that work paying off with this level of recognition and I know that many others will not have been far away from the awards list.
“I am particularly pleased that, ranging from Scotlandwell at one end of the constituency to Comrie at the other, taking in the urban centre in Perth as well as the villages, this success reflects the diverse communities and geographical spread across my constituency.”
Mid Scotland and Fife MSP Annabelle Ewing added: “A huge well done to Perth, Comrie, Pitlochry and Scotlandwell. There was a fantastic result for Glenrothes too, winning a gold award and being named category winner in the large town category and rounding off a brilliant haul for communities across Mid Scotland and Fife.”