THE various Environment Groups in the Cowdenbeath-Lochgelly area have been warmly praised for their work in their communities.

As the Beautiful Fife campaign celebrates its tenth anniversary, driving through a town full of beautiful floral displays in full bloom portrays a sense of pride, Cowdenbeath Area Committee was told.

Pride grown by the hard work of groups of individuals willing to give their time and energy to improve the environment they live in.

And Keith Jackson of the Parks and Community Events department said that Fife Council was pleased to support the people of these towns and villages and encourage them to enter the Beautiful Fife Campaign.

He said: "There has been a growing interest in participating, with 60 towns and villages across Fife taking part in 2017.

"This is the tenth year of the campaign and Cowdenbeath Area Committee have been considering the importance of the supporting local groups and what form this support will take. Cowdenbeath area is well supported by the staff from Parks Streets and Open Spaces.

"The Beautiful Fife Campaign has rewarded communities over the last few years with considerable successes such as: Crossgates who constantly retain their Gold award; Cowdenbeath continuing to work towards a Silver Gilt; Kelty won best new entry award in 2015 and achieved their Silver Gilt the following year; Lochgelly who participated for the first time in 2016 and won a judges' award along with increasing their medal status last year; and Cardenden Environment Group are long time participants and their hard work has seen them retain their Silver award with them only two or three marks away from achieving a Silver Gilt

"This provides the community with a huge sense of pride but also presents a beautiful environment for locals and visitors across the Cowdenbeath Area".

Councillor Gary Guichan: "Could I say that the Environment Group in Cowdenbeath deserves the utmost credit as does the Parks team for supporting them."

Councillor Alex Campbell said: "Kelty only came into the competition a few years ago and the people involved have done brilliantly making a real difference to the village."

Councillor Mary Lockhart said that she was always impressed by the work of the Benarty Environment Group and warmly praised their commitment.

Councillor Linda Erskine, convener of Cowdenbeath Area Committee said: “Not all towns and villages wish to take part in these competitions but we’d like to offer support for any groups wishing to participate in creating and maintaining floral displays.

“While there is no factual evidence to prove that these displays improve the local economy, there is certainly a feel good factor for communities when volunteers go the extra mile to brighten up their towns and villages and if you haven’t been involved in the past you should consider volunteering this year.

“A big thank you to all the volunteers who have taken part.”