Pride of place in the best kept village in the Richmond area was won this year by Moulton.

For 15 years Richmond Rotary Club has organised a Best Kept Village competition with Moulton in first place, followed by Bellerby and Scorton as runners-up.

Ten villages took part and the Rotary Club said the overall standard was judged to be extremely high. It is the fifth time that Moulton has topped the list and it was last year’s runner up.

Darlington and Stockton Times: Moulton was named best kept village

Rotary Club President 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 seventeen 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."

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The winning prize of £400 has been used to purchase a pop-up tent for Mouton. Chair of the Parish Meeting John Gentry said: "This has really been a team effort. Everyone in the village pulls together. Moulton is a special place and although it’s a lot of effort we are delighted that Moulton has won again. The gazebo will be a real asset for a variety of village events."

Mr Stewart said he was delighted that the competition encouraged so many people to participate and take pride in their locality. "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," he added.