Floral Gateway contest blooms again in 2016

Floral Gateway winners - Coldstream 
Champion of Champions - Coldstream. l to r, Harry Brydon, Pat Fulton and Will Murra
Floral Gateway winners - Coldstream Champion of Champions - Coldstream. l to r, Harry Brydon, Pat Fulton and Will Murra

The 17th Floral Gateway competition is looking for entrants for this year’s contest, with the retention of new award categories from 2015.

Alongside the traditional awards, Scottish Borders Council (SBC) is seeking entries from communities, individuals or groups who have an interest in the environmental maintenance of their town or village.

The new prizes include the Welcome Award, for first-time entrants, the Border Biodiversity Award and the Clean and Tidy Award for community projects.

There are also five new Quality of Life Awards, one in each of the council’s five areas (Berwickshire, Cheviot, Eildon, Teviot and Liddesdale and Tweeddale).

Last year was the first time these community awards had been competed for, with Lauder (Welcome), Bowden (Border Biodiversity), Melrose (Clean and Tidy) and Newtown St Boswells (Quality of Life) picking up the prizes.

The five traditional Floral Gateway awards are again open to all communities in the region.

The classes are:

·‘Wee villages’ with a maximum population of 300;

·’Small villages’ with a population between 301 and 1,000;

·‘Large villages’ with a population between 1,001 and 2,500;

·Towns with a population over 2,500;

·The Champion of Champions, which sees the class winners from the previous year go head-to-head against each other.

Councillor David Paterson, SBC’s executive member for environmental services, said this week: “The new community awards were a great addition to the Floral Gateway competition last year and I am delighted they have returned for 2016.

“Entering the Floral Gateway competition is not just about picking up an award.

“Previous entrants have found it led to their communities taking more pride in their environment and local residents to take positive actions to improve their area.

“I would encourage as many communities or groups as possible to get involved in the competition.”

Entry forms are available from www.scotborders.gov.uk/floralgateway and should be submitted by Friday, May 27, with judging expected to take place in late July or early August and the awards evening taking place in September.

Further information is also available from SBC’s Neighbourhood Services team by phoning 0300 100 1800.