Mike Hill, chief executive of The Hills Group, said: “The competition encourages village residents to work together and build a stronger community.”
The Competition is based on the areas of the four old District Councils and is separated into 3 categories: small villages with populations of less than 300; medium villages with populations between 301 to 1,000 residents; and large villages with populations between 1,001 to 3,500 residents. Entries have to be submitted by mid-April and will be judged sometime during the period mid May to mid June to produce the first round winners. The four District winners in each category then compete against each other in July where they are judged by new pairs of judges to find the overall winners in each of the three size categories.
The overall winners from the previous two years are invited to enter a separate section of the Competition where the winner receives the Laurence Kitching Award. That village can truly be called the “Winner of Winners” in Wiltshire.
Judging is based on a written submission and a site visit focuses primarily on communal buildings and public areas such as village greens, footpaths, car parks, noticeboards, bus shelters etc. The judges will be looking for evidence of a vibrant village which puts time and effort into its Clubs and Organisations and keeps litter and general untidiness to a minimum. However, it is emphasised that it is not a “chocolate box” competition! Judging is based upon how well a village is presented, not on how pretty it is.
Presentations of certificates and monetary prizes takes place from September onwards, ideally at village events. The main Presentation Day, in September, is led by The Lord-Lieutenant of Wiltshire (the President of CPRE Wiltshire), the Chairman of CPRE Wiltshire, the sponsors’ representatives and senior members of Wiltshire Council. They visit each of the winning villages where they unveil a standard and present the other prizes.
The history of the Competition can be read here.