The Hills Group and the Council for the Protection of Rural England (CPRE) Wiltshire branch have joined forces again this year to launch the Best Kept Village competition for 2014.

Invitations to enter the competition 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 ten free 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 impressive work that was undertaken last year.”

And 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 30 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 at Worton Village Hall on Monday, March 31.

Those interested in attending should contact CPRE Wiltshire on 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 Mr Hill.

The winning villages in 2013 were: Small village – Teffont; Medium – All Cannings; Large – Burbage.