How does our garden grow? Just lovely!

The Growing Kirkcaldy and Kirkcaldy4All members with their awards
The Growing Kirkcaldy and Kirkcaldy4All members with their awards
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Kirkcaldy groups recognised at Beautiful Scotland awards

Kirkcaldy was pipped at the post by Perth in its first entry into a national flower competition, where it scooped a silver gilt award.

But it did win the Best Newcomer Award in the Beautiful Scotland in Bloom Awards, while the town’s Business Improvement District (BID) team, Kirkcaldy4All, won the best BID entry.

And Fife as a region picked up almost a THIRD of the total prize haul, with 16 groups around the Kingdom, including St Andrews, Kinghorn and Burntisland all winning prizes in their various categories.

Growing Kirkcaldy, the umbrella group set up to oversee the town’s first ever entry into the awards, this week said it was delighted with the results, which were announced at a ceremony in Aberdeen last Friday.

Alice Soper, the volunteer chairman of Growing Kirkcaldy, said the group was delighted with the achievement.

“Attending the ceremony was a very enjoyable and valuable experience, learning about all the various other projects being carried out across Scotland and networking with other like-minded groups.

“There were some very exciting projects that could well be replicated in Kirkcaldy and I look forward to our group’s plans for the coming year,” she said.

“The awards are to be shared by all the community groups, schools and residents of Kirkcaldy who took part. A special thanks is due to Fife Council staff who gave us every support possible.”

Bill Harvey, manager of Kirkcaldy4All added: “We were delighted to win out of all the BIDs in Scotland. It is a prestigious award for the town which recognises all the hard work the businesses have put in around the town centre, working with the council and Growing Kirkcaldy.

“It lifts the town for visitors and makes it more attractive for shoppers, and in particular I would like to thank the Hunter Street and Kirk Wynds traders who got together on this.”

The judges’ comments to Growing Kirkcaldy stated: “As a newcomer to the Beautiful Scotland campaign, Kirkcaldy is to be commended for the commitment shown by all the participating organisations.

“The liaison with Fife Council and the local group helps to get things done and the results are plain to see throughout the town.

“As a new entrant it has more than shown that it has a strong community involvement along with high standards of horticultural endeavour.

“The partnership with the local Fife Council representatives and the group’s supporters is very good. Consultation is one of the strengths which makes the potential of Kirkcaldy one to be watched in the future.”

Meanwhile, members of Floral Action Burntisland (FAB) were celebrating after scooping a silver award in the competition which the new group entered for the first time this year.

Scott Sweaton, chairman, said: “The members are all really pleased with our silver award. There was a large criteria to follow but we got a lot of support from residents in Burntisland.

“It was a team effort - we want to make sure the town looks beautiful all year round and not just on the day the judges arrive.”

In total, 16 entrants from the Fife Council area competed, the highest number of participating entrants from any local authority area in Scotland.

All received a medal certificate for their efforts.

Beautiful Scotland is a competition run by 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.

Lord Purvis, who hosted the ceremony, said: “I would like to commend all of the Fife entrants helping to make Fife, 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.”