Beautiful Scotland judging

Judges Gregor McGillivary ( seated Right ), Colin Answorth (seated Middle) and Sandy Scott (seated left) are joined by members of the Horizon Group at the end of their visit.

Judges Gregor McGillivary ( seated Right ), Colin Answorth (seated Middle) and Sandy Scott (seated left) are joined by members of the Horizon Group at the end of their visit.

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months of hard work by volunteer group Horizon came to a climax this week as Beautiful Scotland judges visited Stonehaven.

Fortunately, the weather held for the judges as they got to explore the town in what they described as a “great visit.”

Beautiful Scotland judges Gregor McGillivary, Colin Anderson and Sandy Scott spent the Monday morning being shown around Stonehaven by Horizon, who have spent months preparing for the event. Sites which they visited included the wave garden. The judges also visited the new allotments which they described as a highlight of their visit, they said they were: “impressive.”

One of the judges, Colin Ainsworth, had visited Stonehaven in 2009 when they last entered Beautiful Scotland, and won a gold medal. He said: “Since 2009 the town has been through quite a lot of trauma and it is nice to see it back to what it used to be.”

Horizon Group member, Rosemary Clark echoed the judges’ enjoyment of the day. She said: “It was a very good tour, I think the town showed itself off. The place looked great.” During their tour the three judges were introduced to members of the community who had taken part in projects, one of the judges remarked that meeting children from Dunnottar School on the tour had been a “highlight.”

Mrs Clark said: “A lot of good people from the community turned out to tell us about their projects.

“That made it much more interesting for the judges because they were getting it from the horse’s mouth rather than just me telling them.”

This year, Stonehaven was judged in the category of “Medium Town,” as opposed to the “Seaside Town” category which they won gold in when they entered in 2009.

The Horizon Project decided not to take part in Beautiful Scotland last year as they felt their efforts were better served in helping the community after the floods and landslides which happened in 2009.

The judges’ visit finished in Stonehaven leisure centre where they were introduced to plans for the new Horizon development project of the Craws nest, which will see the development of the concrete platform which is on the beach-front next to the River Carron. The development will see benches being put in place along with a Labyrinth which will feature 12 mosaics representing important Stonehaven landmarks. The mosaics will be community designed with schools and the adult art group helping to make them. The Horizon Group are hoping to have this project completed in Summer next year.

Stonehaven will now have to wait until the September 12 to find out the outcome the judging.