Winner of Richmondshire best kept village award announced

Richmond Rotary president Emma Fulton (right) presenting a cheque for £400 to Cllr Jane Ritchie MBE, chairman of Burton-cum-Walden Council, with her dog Katy and parish caretaker Richard Chapman.

West Burton has been named as Richmondshire’s best kept village in awards run by Richmond Rotary Club.

Caldwell came second, with Middleton Tyas, Gilling West and West Scrafton joint third.

Sixteen villages took part and judges said the overall standard was exceptionally high.

This is the fifth time that West Burton has topped the list.

Rotary club member David Stewart, who organised the event, praised the efforts of participants and explained the way the wide-ranging contest works”

“We send judges to all the villages during the same two weeks in July and they score each village on over 15 criteria ranging from public spaces and private gardens to the condition of bus shelters, shops, guest houses, inns and the encouragement of wildlife.

“Villages without some features are not penalised.

“After the first scoring a second visit by different judges is organised to the front runners to be sure that the scores are fair.”

Receiving the winning prize of £400, West Burton’s Councillor Jane Ritchie MBE said: “We are very fortunate to live in such a lovely place and we are most grateful to our parish caretaker Richard Chapman for all his dedication and hard work.”

Richmond Rotary Club President Emma Fulton presented a cheque to West Burton this week and said that she was delighted that the competition encouraged so many people to participate and take pride in their locality.

“We were so pleased that after missing the competition last year we were able to run it in 2021.

“It was certainly an extremely close contest, and it was evident that a lot of hard work had taken place in preparation.

“There is every reason to be proud of the area where we live and our beautiful villages well deserve the recognition that Rotary gives them through this annual competition.”