COMMUNITIES across North Wiltshire are celebrating sweeping the board in the county round of the Best Kept Village competition.

Hullavington won the large village category, Biddestone the medium village group and Charlton was best small village.

They were up against villages from across Wiltshire who had already district winners in North Wiltshire, West Wiltshire, Kennet and South Wiltshire.

In the county round fresh judging teams were sent out to examine in detail every aspect of the villages and to give marks.

A spokesman for the Campaign for the Protection of Rural England said : "Hullavington obviously made a big effort to win the large village category this year, as in recent years they have been at best third in the North Wiltshire large village category.

Amongst their comments, the judges felt that Hullavington 'was immaculately presented, everything was clean and tidy, verges well mown and looked after. …. it was a pleasure to see so many gardens neat and colourful and evidently cared for. There was a noticeable absence of litter, and the surroundings of the Hullavington Arms, the shop and the garage (very discreet) were very tidy and attractive.'

"Biddestone has not always entered the competition in recent years but this year they convincingly won the medium village category. The judges 'were immediately drawn to how completely immaculate the village was, not one piece of litter, all the verges trimmed beautifully, every garden and flower basket offering a kaleidoscope of colour. The residents should take great pride in the efforts they made.'

"Charlton has not quite qualified for the county round in recent years but this year they won the small village round in North Wiltshire and then just pipped Ansty to win in the county round. The judges felt that Charlton 'exuded an air of quiet pride in every aspect. The hedges and verges were neat and well-tended as were the frontage of the pub and the church yard."

Seend, near Devizes, took the prize for the best newcomer. It will receive £150 and a certificate. Seend was considered by the judges to be: "a delightful Wiltshire village with a strong sense of identity and community”

Winning villages from 2017 and 2016 could not enter the main contest this year but they could contest the Laurence Kitching award known as the winner of winners award and this was won by All Cannings.

Judges’ overall impression of All Cannings was of 'a very well maintained place with an involved and caring community.'

The competition is sponsored by the Hills Group and each main category winning village will be presented with an eight foot standard with a shield from the Lord Lieutenant of Wiltshire Sarah Troughton on September 23.