Award judges visit Paxton

Paxton stone
Paxton stone

AFTER tasting success at local level, Paxton Village Enhancement Group have entered the Berwickshire village in the national Beautiful Scotland Campaign 2011 and following a visit from judges last week face a month long wait to see if they’ve been victorious.

Paxton has previously won two Scottish Borders awards - the Floral Gateway award for Best Wee village 2009 and Champion of Champions last year - so entering the national competition seemed like a natural progression.

The main aim of the Enhancement Group has always been one of making the village as attractive as possible and following its nomination the village was visited by two Beautiful Scotland judges on Wednesday, August 3.

A walk around the village allowed the judges to view a range of residents’ gardens with their effective displays including those at Paxton Church and The Cross Inn.

The route also involved the public areas cared for by the Enhancement Group across the year. These include the public areas of Merse View, the Pump, the War Memorial and the Paxton Stone, three raised beds and fifteen individual floral barrels and planters.

Two other areas in the village are cared for by individuals, that of Back Lane with its wide selection of wild flowers and the area behind The Orchard where trees have been replaced and beds developed to ensure attractive displays across the year.

The Enhancement Group would like to thank everyone who has contributed to the village across the year and on the judging day, for their significant contribution.

In addition to the floral displays, the judges also enjoyed a number of highly inventive scarecrows created by Paxton residents, impressive sunflowers grown by the younger members of the village and some imaginative sculptures formed of recycled materials also produced by village youngsters.

The latter were also involved in setting up a Wildlife Corner near to the Village Hall through the siting of appropriate boxes for birds, insects and butterflies.

As expected from a national competition, the judging criteria are both thorough and diverse and cover horticultural achievement, environmental responsibility and community participation.

Interestingly, environmental responsibility includes a criterion related to local heritage and by coincidence, Paxton Community Council had already been successful in obtaining a grant from ‘Awards for All’ to allow it to create an Interpretation Board for the village, plus another for the neighbouring village of Hutton.

The Paxton Board has been placed in the Village Green at the centre of the village and will be of interest both to local residents and to tourists with its varied historical information on the village.

The results of the Beautiful Scotland Campaign will be announced at an awards ceremony in Rothesay on September 12.