City takes top spot in annual Beautiful Scotland Awards
By Nour Elshenawy
Judges Stan da Prato and Andrew Hogarth- courtesy of Aberdeen City Council
Following a visit in August by judges Stan da Prato and Andrew Hogarth, the Granite Community claimed numerous awards at a virtual celebration for the nationwide contest.
In addition to the David Welch Winter Gardens in Duthie Park, the two judges toured the city; seeing parks, a school, an enclosure, and communal spaces. The Rosebowl 2022 and Royal Caledonian Horticultural Society Award categories were also presented to the city, as well as a Silver Gilt Medal for Cove in Bloom and a Certificate of Appreciation for Brighter Bucksburn. da Prato and Hogarth declared: “Aberdonians value their parks, and this public support has helped persuade decision-makers of the value of green spaces despite ongoing pressures on local authority finance. The fact that two councilors took time to meet the judges emphasized this commitment.”
Deputy Lord Provost, Councillor Steve Delaney, accompanied the judges on their visit to the winning city. He said: “This is amazing news and even better than we could have hoped for, although our wonderful Environmental Services team, led by Steven Shaw, communities, and army of volunteers across the city naturally gave us every confidence that we would do well.
“It was an absolute pleasure to accompany the judges on their tour of our beautiful green spaces, which we now know are the best in Scotland. It was clear that they were very impressed by what they saw. “My warmest congratulations to everyone on achieving these wonderful boosts for our city.”
Councillor Miranda Radley, Convener of the council’s Communities, Housing and Public Protection Committee, said: “These are amazing achievements for our city and wonderful recognition for all the hard work of our staff as well as our Friends groups, schools, businesses, communities, especially in Cove and Bucksburn, and the thousands of volunteers put into making our city’s green spaces so attractive… My congratulations go out to everyone involved for their dedication to making our city look its best.”
Aberdeen City Council is devoted to gardening and has a long history of horticultural expertise extending back over 50 years. It features a variety of lovely parks, gardens, and green places. The staff, Friends organisations, and volunteers live and breathe their green areas and take great satisfaction in preserving, displaying, and enjoying them.
The team continues to provide conventional high-quality horticulture and flower displays with a combination of seasonal bedding and permanent perennial planting. In recent years, focus has shifted to maintaining additional parks and green areas as natural places, planting more pollinator-friendly plants to increase the biodiversity value of the locations. The team has minimised grass mowing to allow grasses and wildflowers to grow and show off their beauty. This not only enhances the variety of planting in the space, but it also adds a fresh learning experience to the team's horticulture.