Beautiful Scotland competition judges visited Peterculter on Wednesday, July 30, as part of their tour of other Aberdeen communities.
The competition is part of the RHS (Royal Horticultural Society) Britain in Bloom campaign, annually attracting hundreds of local groups who commit many hours throughout the year to voluntary work in looking after their communities.
Culter in Bloom volunteers, who established their group ten years ago, toured the village along with this year’s judges, Joe Smyth and Steven Mitchell, and Lower Deeside Councillors Tauqueer Malik and Aileen Malone, hoping to add to the three previous Beautiful Scotland silver awards the village has won in the Urban Community section, for which there are seven entries across Scotland, including Dyce and Cove in Aberdeen.
During the judges’ tour, three themes were examined - horticultural achievement, community participation and environmental responsibility, and the winning communities will receive their awards at a ceremony in Dundee on September 5.
Culter in Bloom chair Erik Stien said: “In their tour, the judges are looking for evidence of wholehearted commitment to pride in the area, its heritage and environment, by the community at large, including residents and local businesses, and they don’t just look at what we want to show them, so everyone has to ‘raise their game’ when they come! They also like to see evidence of continuous improvement and to learn about future plans.”
Culter in Bloom volunteers always hope that for the village future improvement in their award chances may mean the winning of a coveted Gold Award. A highlight of the judges’ visit to Peterculter was a stop at a disused area of grass and trees at the western end of the village where just such a future development is planned.
After a suggestion from the group, Cllr Marie Boulton, Deputy Leader of the City Council, was successful in securing the area of ground at the top of Millside Street near the Rob Roy bridge to turn into a Community Orchard - to commemorate the centenary of the outbreak of World War I, during which 68 Culter men lost their lives.
Cllr Boulton, herself a Culter lass, said: “We approached Barratts, who owned the land, and they were very happy to sign it over for such a worthwhile project. They have also agreed to provide financial support to buy the trees. Aberdeen City Council officers from our Environmental team will do preparatory works which will then allow Culter in Bloom to get the trees planted. This work will begin in the near future.”
The Awards will be announced on September 5 at the Dundee Flower & Food Show. To volunteer with Culter in Bloom or to help with the community orchard project, contact Erik Stien by calling 01224 734149.