Berwickshire blooms in Floral Gateway competition

The twelfth annual Floral Gateway awards took place at Tweed Horizons on Tuesday 6 September.  This year's competition saw 25 communities take part from across the Borders, with Burnmouth entering for the first time. Overall category winners, from left to right: Dave Blackman, Coldstream, Large Village category; Barbara Lowdon, Birgham, Wee Village category; John Miller, Melrose, Champion of Champions category; Councillor Carolyn Riddell- Carre; Bill White, Galashiels, Town category; Martin Pearson, Greenlaw, Small Village category.
The twelfth annual Floral Gateway awards took place at Tweed Horizons on Tuesday 6 September. This year's competition saw 25 communities take part from across the Borders, with Burnmouth entering for the first time. Overall category winners, from left to right: Dave Blackman, Coldstream, Large Village category; Barbara Lowdon, Birgham, Wee Village category; John Miller, Melrose, Champion of Champions category; Councillor Carolyn Riddell- Carre; Bill White, Galashiels, Town category; Martin Pearson, Greenlaw, Small Village category.

BERWICKSHIRE villages took all three titles in this year’s Floral Gateway awards - Coldstream winning large village, Greenlaw small village and Birgham wee village.

The presentation of the 12th Floral Gateway awards took place at Tweed Horizons with 25 Borders communities vying for top spot in four categories - Burnmouth entering for the first time.

Champion of champions was Melrose and top in the town category was Galashiels.

Councillor Carolyn Riddell-Carre, executive member for planning and environment, said: “I was delighted to be invited to hand out the certificates to the entrants at this year’s Floral Gateway awards ceremony.

“The standard of entries this year was high and it’s very encouraging that they continue to improve year on year.

“Through the Floral Gateway the council supports local communities to take an active role in improving their local environment. Support is given in a number of different ways, such as designing council displays to co-ordinate with the local community’s displays or by supporting projects such as park development bids, if communities express an interest.”

Judging the entries were Robin Hogg and Bert Duncan, from the Kelso area and Sandy McVittie, from the Hawick area.

On behalf of the council’s neighbourhood services, Jason Hedley, added: “I’d like to thank the judges, all of whom give their time freely to the competition. They take a genuine interest in the people as well as the flowers of the Borders’ communities who take part. The competition could not take place without their continued support.”

The Borders continues to be represented at two further awards ceremonies: Newcastleton is representing the Borders at the UK Britain in Bloom awards, at St Andrews on September 25; Melrose, Peebles, Paxton, Yetholm and Galashiels were all finalists in the Scottish national awards, Beautiful Scotland, that took place this week at the Isle of Bute. This was Paxton’s first venture into the Beautiful Scotland competition and the enthusiastic team have been encouraged by their success in the last two years in the Floral Gateway competition.