Wiltshire villagers are being urged to enter this year’s competition to crown the tidiest village in the county.

The Wiltshire branch of the Campaign to Protect Rural England is inviting entries for the 2022 competition and they say anybody can nominate their village.

CPRE Wiltshire’s branch chair, Anne Henshaw, said: “We’re very excited to be launching the competition this year and are looking forward to many more entries. 

"Last year’s entries were slightly down on 2019 as some villages were still wary of the implications of Covid, but that shouldn’t be a cause for concern now.

“Anyone in a village can pull the entry together and coordinate preparations for judging – it doesn’t have to be handled only by the parish council. 

"All entrants need to submit is one form, a map and a short village report and let the parish council know. Entries need to be in to CPRE Wiltshire no later than Friday, April 22.”

For the first time, the main competition is being sponsored by CCm Technologies, a sustainable and cleantech technology company based in Swindon, and prizes of up to £200 are awarded.

“We encourage all villages to enter, irrespective of their size. The winners of the various sections will receive great recognition and publicity for their efforts,” said Pawel Kisielewski, chief executive of CCm Technologies.

Launching the competition, CPRE Wiltshire's countryside ambassador, the famous soprano Carly Paoli, called on Wiltshire’s villagers to show the county at its best.

She said: "Working together on something as important as the place we live is a wonderful opportunity to regain that community spirit and get together in the fresh air after such a difficult two years. 

“We live in a beautiful county and joining forces to improve the appearance of those places we call home makes it even more special.

"The justifiable pride is evident at the presentations for all those who win prizes and I look forward to seeing the results of the hard work I know will go into this year's competition.”

Organisers say the judges consider presentation - tidiness, absence of litter and evidence of community spirit and involvement – but they do not award marks for the beauty of buildings.

And you don’t need to be experienced to win, last year Castle Eaton was judged both best kept small village and best newcomer.  The best kept large village award 2021 went to Ramsbury, which beat 38 other villages.

First round judging will take place from May 14 to June 12. To find out more go to cprewiltshire.org.uk or email admin@cprewiltshire.org.uk