GREEN-FINGERED residents in Blunsdon are celebrating after their hard work helped to win it the coveted Best Kept Village In Wiltshire award.

Blunsdon won the Large Village category.

The competition is organised by the Campaign To Protect Rural England and more than 200 villages across the county are invited to enter each year.

The award is given to the village which is kept looking the smartest by residents, and, after several months of inspections, the judges decided Blunsdon was the best.

Organising the entry is the responsibility of the parish council but is it down to the residents to keep the village looking its best.

Parish council chairman Ian Jankinson said: “We’re obviously all very pleased to have won.

“We have quite a history of doing well in the competition but not actually winning it.

“Last year we finished second so it is nice to finish first this time.

“It is down to people keeping the place looking smart as well as the hard work of people like Mark and Ian who organise litter picks and keep the village tidy.

“One person who has done a huge amount for life in the village is the parish clerk Rachel Smith. She has been the clerk for 25 years so it is a double celebration.”

An award ceremony will take place in October when the village will be presented with the prize by Wiltshire’s Lord Lieutenant and Wiltshire CPRE president Sarah Troughton.

A plaque will be given to the village but there will also be a monetary prize which the parish council wants to use to reward a resident who has contributed to life in Blunsdon.

“As this stage we know there is a monetary award but we are not sure exactly how much it is,” said Ian.

“When we do we will put it up for a community award to give to someone who has made an outstanding contribution to life in the village.

“It will be for someone who has gone above and beyond to improve the life of others.

“For example, there are some people who regularly go out of their way to make sure their neighbours are well and do things such as clear snow from pathways.

“We would also like to extend the award so there is one for each part of the parish such as Redhouse, Abbey Meads and Ash Brake.

“It’s a good opportunity to recognise what many people do to help their community.”