The cream of Lancashire villages are celebrating their recognition in a prestigious competition.
Members of the The Lancashire Best Kept Village Competition committee turned up unannounced at entrants throughout the region, judging on factors including:
n The absence of weeds and litter
n The maintenance of private properties and hedgerows
n The tidiness of community buildings
n Cleanliness of bus shelters and telephone kiosks.
n Well-maintained open spaces, playing fields and children’s play areas.
n Maintenance of all places of worship.
This year Longton came up trumps, as winner of the Large Village competition.
Councillor Graham Gooch, chairman of Longton Parish Council, said: “We’re very pleased to win after picking up the most improved village title a couple of years ago.
“We asked residents to help us and spoke to businesses about looking good.
“Everyone has worked very hard and the lengthsman has also done great work tidying and litter picking in other places.”
He added: “Longton is a fabulous place to live. We have great restaurants, shops, a library, post office, five pubs, a nature reserve, great schools and nice cafes.
“We’re not content to just win this though, we’re working on future improvements, such as providing more seating areas, more accessible parking spaces, and introducing a country market.”
Wrea Green also did well, being named runner up in the champion village competition. The village has won the title three times in five years.
Other areas in central Lancashire praised by judges inclusded Longridge, runner up in the large village category, and Brindle, runner up in the small village category,
Certificate of merit winners included Inglewhite Chapel, The Old Station Heritage Centre in Longridge and Euxton Park Care Home.
The competition started in 1958 and was set up by the Community Council of Lancashire whose members were of the opinion that such a competition would promote a better environment for everyone throughout Lancashire.