Invitations to enter this year’s CPRE Wiltshire Best Kept Village Competition, sponsored again by the Hills Group, have just been sent to all parish clerks across the county.
The first thirty entries received at CPRE’s office at Renelec House, Devizes will each be offered ten bags of Hills Warrior compost which is locally produced from green waste, certified to PAS100 and Soil Association approved as an organic product.
CPRE Wiltshire is hoping that the 2016 entry list will significantly exceed the 49 entries achieved last year. The first round of judging will take place in May and June with the second and final round, to select the best kept small, medium and large village in Wiltshire, in July.
Newcomer’s Award: 2016 sees the third year in which there is a newcomer’s prize for any village which has not entered the competition for the last five years. CPRE Wiltshire hopes this will encourage more villages to enter and to reap the benefits involved. A prize of £150 is on offer for this award, which in 2015 was won by West Ashton.
Laurence Kitching Award, sponsored by NFU Mutual: The winning six villages from 2014 and 2015 cannot compete in the main competition but are encouraged to enter the Laurence Kitching Award, sponsored again by NFU Mutual. This year Aldbourne, Blunsdon, Great Somerford, Mildenhall, Stapleford (LK winner in 2015) and Wilcot are eligible. Judging for this takes place in July.
Some villages have already contacted CPRE Wiltshire about the competition and are now making preparations. Considerable guidance, including “Judges’ Top Tips”, based upon feedback from previous years’ entries and judging has been included in the entry invitation pack. There is no doubt that the competition involves hard work but careful planning is crucial too. More importantly it provides an opportunity for village communities to come together to achieve a common aim which benefits them by improving their environment.
The three winning villages are given an eight foot standard with mounted shield for a year, emplaced on their village green. The award ceremony will be held at each of these villages on a single day in September or October when CPRE Wiltshire’s President, the Lord-Lieutenant for Wiltshire, Mrs Sarah Troughton, will pull away the Union Flag surmounting the shield. This is an exciting and rewarding occasion for all involved.
For details contact Mike Manson: email@example.com
Pictured top: Mike Hill, Chief Executive of the Hills Group, presenting the sponsorship cheque for 2016 to Mrs Anne Henshaw, Vice Chairman of CPRE Wiltshire