“Let’s just do it!” as our motto says.
In the spring of 2000, a group of Bothwell residents decided that their town was in need of care and set up Brighter Bothwell. Their aim was to make Bothwell more attractive to residents and visitors by enhancing the areas where people live, work and relax.
Brighter Bothwell is a team effort and, from its outset, has sought to involve local people, businesses, schools, churches, other community groups, local authority staff and others who share its aspirations. From the start, to provide a focus for our activities, we have participated in the Keep Scotland Beautiful, Beautiful Scotland campaign. Our initial entry earned praise for a ‘first class’ effort, and we have been very pleased with our progress and awards over the years.
Our aim is to enhance the environment through the endeavours of local volunteers. The ethos of the group can be summed up as ‘Let’s just do it!’. We work in partnership with others, and often act as a catalyst for activities and groups within Bothwell. When we see things which need to be done to improve the appearance of our town, we organise work parties and tackle them. A key activity is working closely with local schools to raise awareness of the importance of nurturing our green environment.
Entering Bothwell in the Beautiful Scotland campaign means that we need to meet high standards of horticultural achievement, environmental responsibility and community participation. Through all our work and projects, we aim to support Keep Scotland Beautiful campaigns and activities.
Since our formation in 2000, the group has achieved much. Bothwell is cleaner, brighter and ‘greener’. Many public areas have been improved and some major projects have been undertaken including the Nature Trail, The Jubilee Garden and The Gilchrist Garden. More recently, a Miners’ Wildflower Garden, with noticeboard and plaque, and a restored coal hutch memorial have helped to recognise a key part of Bothwell’s heritage as well as increasing biodiversity. In addition to being awarded a Silver Gilt Medal in the Beautiful Scotland Awards for 2015, our work on promoting biodiversity helped us to win the National Biodiversity Award, for the second time in three years.
Key achievements since 2000
• Creation /upgrading of several gardens and public spaces throughout the town.
• Development and maintenance of Bothwell Nature Trail, and related educational resources.
• Initiating the introduction of Bothwell Scarecrow Festival, and the establishment of a Community Garden.
• Marking Bothwell’s mining heritage, in collaboration with Bothwell Historical Society, with the creation of a garden and monument.
• Autumn, winter, spring and summer floral displays.
• Improvements in local environmental quality, as a result of regular campaigns and clean up events.
• Increased awareness of our work in the community, and national recognition for Brighter Bothwell’s support for Keep Scotland Beautiful activities.
How would this funding have an impact on your community?
We would use the funding to extend two of our anti-litter campaigns – one is focused on working to combat dog fouling and the other is focused on dealing with cigarette litter. Both of our local campaigns support Clean Up Scotland’s national campaigns – ‘Ditch the Dirt: Bag it and Bin It’ and ‘Bin your Butt’.
By keeping our campaigns fun and creative, we are raising awareness and gradually changing the attitudes in our small town to encourage pride and responsible citizenship. People always benefit from living and working in a clean and attractive environment. Extending these two specific campaigns will almost certainly have an impact for years to come.
Bag it and Bin It
Our latest activity on this campaign has involved the installation of ‘Bobby’s Boxes’. Using our cuddly canine mascot ‘Bobby Bothwell’, we have raised awareness of local dog-fouling problems by making dog litter bags readily available in key locations, including public gardens and our Nature Trail. We had purpose-built dispensers made to hold bags which are freely available from South Lanarkshire Council. We currently have five boxes, each of which is kept filled by a Brighter Bothwell volunteer–‘Bobby’s Buddies’. The initial Bobby’s Boxes have now been in place for several months. They have received positive comments and are beginning to make a difference. Our idea has received national recognition in several Keep Scotland Beautiful publications, as an example for other groups. We would like to be able to install more boxes, but need to raise the funds to do so.
Bin your Butt
Cigarette litter is a national problem, and it is a local problem for our group. We have been monitoring and removing cigarette litter in areas near Bothwell Main Street over recent months. We are now in discussion with local businesses on how best to deal with the problem, so that we can encourage some changes in attitudes and behaviour. In one particularly badly affected area, we have decided to install a bin for cigarette litter. The result is that a local business has agreed to buy a second bin and we are hopeful that we can build upon this response. We plan to run a local publicity campaign to advertise this positive action and we will monitor the impact. We would use funding to purchase some additional bins and to help implement our publicity campaign, which would include the use of posters, flyers and Facebook entries.
The more widely we can extend these two focused campaigns, the more people will come to appreciate, value and actively support a cleaner environment. All of our population of around 6,500 would benefit from cleaner streets and public areas.
Application of funds
If we were successful, the £500 grant would be applied as follows:
Purchase of materials to construct four Bobby’s boxes at £50 each £200
Purchase of two Cigarette Litter bins at £120 each £240
Printing of awareness raising posters and flyers £ 60
"Brighter Bothwell members are delighted that we are able to extend our volunteer work to make our small town an even brighter place, through support for our latest ‘Clean Up’ campaigns. Littering, including dog fouling and careless disposal of cigarette butts, is a national as well as a local problem, which we have had some success in reducing. We hope that support for our latest campaigns will help us to change attitudes to these problems.
Marjory Robertson, Chairman"