The annual Beautiful Scotland Award Ceremony was held on Friday 5th August at the Dundee Food and Flower Festival in Camperdown Park in the city, where Cumbernauld, having won Best Small City in 2013, was defending its title against tough competition from the Fife towns of Dunfermline and Kirkcaldy. Despite putting together a strong campaign, Cumbernauld was unsuccessful in returning Beautiful Scotland silverware to the town for 2014, with the category won outright by Kirkcaldy. However, Cumbernauld was able to retain its Silver Award level of achievement.
Adam Smith of Cumbernauld Environmental Society said “While it was disappointing that Cumbernauld wasn’t able to retain the Best Small City trophy, the town can take some consolation in the knowledge that ‘Cumbernauld’ will forever be inscribed in Beautiful Scotland silverware following last year’s win. Nonetheless, the judges were very impressed with Cumbernauld when they visited and we’re pleased to have maintained our Silver Award. We expect to receive the judges’ marking sheets soon and we’ll be reviewing our scores to make sure next year’s Beautiful Cumbernauld campaign is as strong as it can possibly be”.
The Beautiful Scotland judges visited Cumbernauld on Thursday 7th August and were shown around the town by Fiona Kenny and Adam Smith of Cumbernauld Environmental Society, who collated the town’s entry yet again. The group planned and co-ordinated the judging visit and prepared a portfolio detailing some of Cumbernauld’s key achievements over the last year. The judging route included Cumbernauld Community Memorial Peace Garden, Broadwood Loch, the garden of the Scottish Spina Bifida Centre in Craighalbert, Cumbernauld Community Park, and Abronhill Primary School’s Outdoor Classroom in Cumbernauld Glen.
The judges also found out about the new Cumbernauld Town Centre Action Plan, as well as the work of Cumbernauld Living Landscape and the Living Window project. Ian McKenzie of Cumbernauld Living Landscape said “Cumbernauld Living Landscape is enhancing, restoring and reconnecting green areas of the town by protecting and improving woodland, restoring lowland peat bogs and connecting communities to their local wildlife. Projects like the Living Window are transforming empty shops into works of art to connect the residents of Cumbernauld with the town’s natural environment”.