RESULTS for the first round of Wiltshire’s Best Kept Village Competition have been announced following inspections of volunteer efforts in 39 villages across the county.

Box, Biddestone and Upper & Lower Seagry were crowned winners in the North Wiltshire and Swindon category and, in Kennet, Great Bedwyn and Mildenhall came out on top. Those villages will now be judged against similar-sized winners in other districts, including west and south Wiltshire, to determine the best kept in Wiltshire.

The competition is run by the Wiltshire branch of the Campaign to Protect Rural England and sponsored by The Hills Group, and recently sent judges to examine villages’ tidiness, cleanliness, presentation and community spirit.

Organiser Mike Manson said: “The parish councils and their volunteers had clearly been hard at work, achieving encouragingly high standards and making the judges’ task that much more difficult.

“We had slightly fewer entries this time and the lowest number for a few years, so we’d really like to see more enter in future. Ideally we’d have them all!”

The villages are split into size categories and districts: large villages have more than 1,000 residents, medium have 300-1,000, and small fewer than 300 people. The four districts are North Wiltshire and Swindon, Kennet, West Wiltshire and South Wiltshire.

No small villages in Kennet entered the competition this year – Mr Manson said that hasn’t happened before but he didn’t know of any reason for them to be deterred.

Urchfont won the Newcomers Award, a £150 reward for the best village to have entered for the first time in five years or more. Results of the second round will be announced in August.

Mr Manson added: “Occasionally we won’t get any entries for a category, but it’s just one of those things. Smaller villages by definition have fewer people so it can be harder to get volunteers, but we’ve had a lot of small villages enter in the past. People should take part because the competition makes the streets look nicer, boosts community spirit and makes people proud of their villages.”

The full results are as follows:

North Swindon and Wiltshire

Large (1,2,3,4): Box, Brinkworth, Hullavington, Wroughton

Medium (1,2,3): Biddestone, Oaksey, Dauntsey

Small (1,2,3,4): Upper & Lower Seagry, Charlton, Marston Meysey


Large (1,2,3,4,5): Great Bedwyn, Urchfont, Rowde, Bromham, Ramsbury

Medium (1,2): Mildenhall, Shalbourne

Small: No entries