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Mike Hill left and John Blake are encouraging Wiltshires villages to enter the competition

Hills’ helping hand for Best Kept Villages

Recycling firm Hills Group has a special gift for villages chasing the title of Wiltshire’s Best Kept Village 2014.

Invitations to enter the competition – which is run by the Council for the Protection of Rural England and sponsored by Marlborough-based Hills Group – have been sent to all 234 villages across Wiltshire and entries need to be submitted by Wednesday, April 30.

As an incentive to get entries in early, the first 30 entries received at the CPRE Office in Devizes will each be given 10 complimentary bags of Hills’ Warrior Compost.

The compost is made from green waste collected throughout Wiltshire, it is certified to the BSI PAS 100 (2011) and the Compost Quality Protocol standard and accredited by both the Association for Organics Recycling and the Soil Association.

Mike Hill, chief executive of The Hills Group, said: “The competition encourages village residents to work together and build a stronger community. I am looking forward to seeing the results of their efforts as I was extremely impressed by the work that was undertaken last year.”

John Blake, secretary of CPRE Wiltshire, said: “CPRE Wiltshire is delighted that The Hills Group are sponsoring this competition again this year, its 56th year.

“With the bonus of Hills generous offer of organic compost to the first thirty villages to enter, the preparation for the competition becomes an important part of the cohesive efforts of the villagers during the year.”

The competition is judged in three 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.

This year for the first time there will be a short seminar about the competition aimed at helping both newcomers and those villages which would like more information on BKVC 2014.

It will be held in the evening at the Worton Village Hall on March 31 and those interested in attending should contact CPRE Wiltshire on telephone 01380 722157.

Judging will take place during May to August and the final winners’ presentation ceremony will be held on October 12 in each of the winning villages with prizes awarded by Wiltshire’s Lord Lieutenant, President of the CPRE Wiltshire Mrs Sarah Troughton and the Hills winning plaque by CEO Mike Hill.

The winning villages in 2013 were:

  • Small – Teffont (Near Salisbury)
  • Medium – All Cannings (near Devizes)
  • Large – Burbage (near Marlborough)