Five of the top nine spots in the Scottish Borders Floral Gateway awards went to Berwickshire towns and villages.
Altogether, of the 19 awards made this year, 10 of them were won by communities in Berwickshire, and the effort put in by volunteers in the county was praised at last week’s Berwickshire Locality Committee meeting.
Committee chairman, Councillor Jim Fullarton said: “It’s a real testament to the volunteers. It’s great to see groups of people out planting and tidying when you pass through.”
Scottish Borders Council’s Darren Silcock was full of praise for the work put in by Berwickshire communities.
“I’m proud to say that in Berwickshire we put in a great performance,” said Mr Silcock.
“People who take part in it often say that they can’t compete with the likes of Melrose and Peebles. But that’s not what it’s about.
“Visitors driving through one of your small villages think what a lovely area it is and it might be nice to come back. They have won.”
Melrose claimed the champion of champions title at the 18th Floral Gateway awards, Kelso was second and Birgham and Ayton shared joint third. Other winners: large town – 1 Hawick, 2 Peebles, 3 Galashiels; large village – 1 Coldstream, 2 Lauder, 3 Chirnside; small village – 1 Coldingham, 2 Greenlaw, 3 Ancrum; wee village – 1 Westruther, 2 Morebattle, 3 Burnmouth; Border Biodiversity winner – Burnmouth; Clean and Tidy winners – Lauder and Morebattle; Quality of Life winners – Newtown St Boswells, Jedburgh and Coldstream; Welcome Award winners – Jedburgh.
The Champion of Champions received a £250 voucher, other category winners picked up a £200 voucher and Quality of Life winners got a £100 voucher sponsored by Scottish Borders Council. The Clean and Tidy winners received a new litter and dog waste bin.
Lynn Craighead from Burnmouth,said: “We were delighted to win the Biodiversity award and feel it is a recognition of much hard work and dedication by the Enhancement Group. We face many challenges in developing cultivated areas around the scattered settlements of Burnmouth, but try to work with the environment and the elements and are always conscious of the Site of Special Scientific Interest status of areas of the village.”
Speaking on behalf of Coldstream’s Gateway Association, Pat Fulton said: “The Gateway Association was delighted to win the large village category award.
“This award is down to the hard work of our committee and the team of volunteers who plant, maintain and water our floral displays over the year. Also the generosity of the people of Coldstream who assist with our fundraising. We also appreciate the many people in Coldstream who enhance the town with great displays in their private gardens and businesses.”