About Best Kept Village Community


The Community Foundation for Staffordshire have been managing the administration of the Best Kept Village competition since 2018. We are proud to be the custodians of a competition steeped in tradition, dating back to 1956. The competition was originally developed to encourage village residents to take pride in their communities and that aim continues to date. We have developed the competition with an increased focus on community cohesion within villages.

What is the Best Kept Village Community Competition?

The Best Kept Village Community Competition aims to develop and highlight a sense of pride amongst local people throughout Staffordshire. It illustrates and emphasises how much voluntary work is undertaken to keep Staffordshire beautiful and how communities work together to make where they live desirable and a place they are proud to call home.

What is judged and marked in BKVC?

A village will be judged on its maintenance, appearance and the community spirit amongst its residents and how that is evidenced throughout the year via supporting photographs and videos.

Judges will take into consideration where a village does not have a certain feature, e.g. a bus shelter, war memorial, large open space, etc. this will be considered in marking and villages will certainly NOT be at a disadvantage because they do not have BKVC features.

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Community Spirit

This added element to the BKVC Competition allows your community the opportunity to be recognised and to celebrate the strong, supportive community spirit.

The BKVC Community Spirit entry form can be accessed on the RESOURCES page. Up to 40 additional points can be awarded for demonstrating inclusivity, year-round events, clubs, and community cohesion through submitting this additional entry form. This will be judged separately to the in-person judging in the community and be based purely on the entry form and the evidence to accompany it.

What are our aims?

In order to develop the competition our aim is to administer it via a digital platform and encourage inclusivity amongst all ages.

The competition is not about finding the most beautiful, old, or picturesque village, and the winners are more varied and diverse than one might think. The most successful communities are often those that achieve the greatest involvement and community spirit from their residents.

Who can be involved?

It is often the parish council who take the lead in entering the competition, but, in many cases, local groups are formed by residents.

Then there are our judges, dedicated volunteers who spend hours touring the villages of Staffordshire for two days during May and June.

If you, or someone you know would like to volunteer as a judge then please contact us.

The Judges' Meeting

The judges' meeting will take place in April, in order to give guidance and advice for any volunteer judges who wish to know more or would like to refresh their knowledge of what is involved.

Report problem areas and concerns

If you have a problem area within your village there is an option to include, within your online entry, a description of any temporary eyesores.

If you have any concerns on entering the competition or need support with the entry process, then please do not hesitate to contact us.

Events

We are aware that communities have year-round events and clubs taking places within their village; we would love to see evidence of this with your entry.

Please note: your photographs will need to be of events which have taken place between 1st April (last year) and up to 31st March (this year).

Think your Village can win? - Enter today!

Involve and encourage the children

We encourage villages to involve children of all ages, this can be through entering the supplementary colouring, poetry and photography competitions, assisting with the online entry process, taking photographs or video footage at community events, making/building bug hotels/bird boxes etc.

Please ensure you have consent from parents/guardians when photographing children and uploading them online.

Maintain a tidy front garden

The front gardens of houses in the village provide an overall impression of the care and pride of residents in the appearance of their village and should be neat and well maintained. Judges will form their overall impression of private gardens as they travel around the village.

Churchyard

Churchyards are a key feature of many villages, serving as a place of quiet beauty for peaceful reflection and precious memories. The maintenance of churchyards is often undertaken by a few volunteers who may value the offer of additional support. There are strict guidelines about what is permissable in Church of England churchyards, so it is important to check with the vicar or churchwardens before undertaking any action. Advice and examples of good churchyard maintenance are also available from the national charity, Caring for God's Acre.

Notes on Marking

Please refer to the resources page.

View Resources

Become a sponsor

If you are interested in sponsoring the competition, then we would love to hear from you.

Perhaps you would like to:

  • Sponsor one of the 7 areas within Staffordshire
  • Sponsor one of the supplementary competitions
  • Sponsor the prize which will be placed in each area winner's village

For further information, please contact us.