Website win for gardening society

The Rothes Horticultural and Industrial Society in Moray topped an online poll to win a seven-page website worth more than £2000 with hosting and ...
Website win for gardening society

A GARDENING group is hoping to grow its profile after winning a website courtesy of Highland News & Media (HNM) - publisher of the Inverness Courier.

The Rothes Horticultural and Industrial Society in Moray topped an online poll to win a seven-page website worth more than £2000 with hosting and management included for one year.

The gardening society was among nine finalists in the competition to celebrate the impressive digital growth of HNM, formerly SPP Media Group, which produces 18 weekly newspapers covering Inverness-shire, Ross-shire, Caithness, Sutherland, Strathspey, Moray and Grampian.

In November, the group announced it had smashed through the two million monthly page views barrier on its websites just seven months after they were launched.

To mark the milestone, it invited charities and community organisations to enter a competition to win a website.

Sheila MacDonald, secretary of the Rothes Horticultural and Industrial Society, said members were thrilled to have won the public vote.

"We don't have a website at the moment," Mrs MacDonald said. "We realise we are lagging behind.

"We are interested to know what the website will look like and the difference it will make to our society."

The society's main event of the year is its annual show in September featuring a wide variety of classes such as flowers, vegetables, pot plants and sections for children's entries which are publicised via printed paper schedules distributed around the area.

"That is a bit old hat nowadays – people want to go onto the internet so we hope to reach a lot more people by putting the schedule online," said Mrs MacDonald who added printed copies would still be circulated.

"We are lucky because our show is still going. There are events of this nature which have fallen by the wayside.

"That is why we want this website. That is the way forward to get young people on board."

The society's small committee, supported by a band of willing volunteers, also organises other events during the year including a spring compost sale, a plant sale and coffee morning in May and other fundraisers.

As part of its prize, the society will also get a full report of how its website is performing every month from a dedicated account manager.

The other finalists were Mikeysline, Old St Peter's Kirk Preservation Association, NHS Highland FC, the F Factor, Abilitynet, Highlands and Islands Tape Service for the Blind, Kenmay Village Hall and Caithness FM.

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