Burbage finished joint third in the large village category of the Wiltshire Best Kept Village contest but parish council chairman Keith Amiss said villagers should not be downhearted but look forward to doing even better next year.

The winner of the large village section of the contest sponsored by the Campaign to Protect Rural England, Wiltshire Council and Wiltshire Life was Hilperton near Trowbridge and Box took the second place.

Burbage shared third position with Bowerhill near Melksham but Coun Amiss warned that Burbage had “set its mark in the sand” and added: “We have moved up a level now and we are determined to beat it next year.”

The council chairman said Burbage had traditionally fared badly in this annual contest losing out on issues like its village pond being overgrown and the bus shelters untidy.

However for the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Year, said Coun Amiss, villagers had worked extra hard, had a once-a-month litter pick by volunteers and used offenders from the Community Pay Back scheme to paint the railings and wooden posts in front of All Saints Church.

“Previously we always used to do badly in this contest and we used to come bottom in the east of Wiltshire but this time we managed to get through to the finals and share the third place.

“Now we need to keep the impetus going,” the chairman said.