A Preston school has won the school category at this year's ‘Lancashire’s Best Kept Village’ awards, which was held at Eaves Hall in Clitheroe on Monday.
After being nominated by a member of the public and impressing the team of judges, Ashbridge Independent School & Nursery were invited to the final ceremony, where they were granted the award by Ralph Assheton, the previous High Sheriff of Lancashire.
Located on an 11-acre estate in the village of Hutton, near Preston, the school caters for children aged 4-11, whilst they have nurseries for those aged 0-4 on the Hutton site, as well as in Walton-le Dale, Bilsborrow and Cottam.
Charlotte Bingham Brindle, the school’s Director of Compliance, who attended the ceremony with year 3 student, Penelope Brindle, said: “It was really lovely, people from villages all over Lancashire were there and it was a really beautiful setting in Eaves Hall. We got some great comments form the judges, they said they’d never seen a school like it, we were heads and shoulders above the rest, we’ve got bees and animals, and a full garden where the children grow fruit and vegetables, and our grounds team are just incredible, so it was a really lovely day out and it was good for one of the children to go up and get the award as well."
Charlotte added: “It really means a lot to us, we have people that work tirelessly on the grounds so that it's a great place for the children to learn and grow and feel a really strong connection with where they come to school and nursery, so that they’re coming in happy, settled and know they’re coming into a beautiful environment. We also put a real big emphasis on outdoor learning, and developing a love and respect for nature, so for it to be recognised like that is really great."
‘Lancashire’s Best Kept Village’ is an annual competition that aims to encourage, through community effort and involvement, a high standard of care and maintenance in Lancashire villages and hamlets, with the first ceremony being held in 1958.
As well as looking for overall 'Best Kept Village' across five classes, there were also 'Outstanding Feature Award' entries that were judged across a number of categories covering specific areas and buildings, such as churches, schools, public Halls, shops, children's play areas, and playing fields.
This year’s competition was sponsored by Eaves Hall, Lancashire Life, and Barton Grange.