The results of the village’s entry into the 2014 Best Kept Village Competition are as follows:
Best Kept Village Final Results for 2014
Past Winner – Large Village
- Winner: Kilmington
- Runner-up: Newton St Cyres
Past Winner – Small Village
- Winner: Dalwood
- Runner-up: Offwell
- Winner: Bradworthy
- Runner-up: Musbury
- Winner: Sheepwash
- Runner-up: Bratton Clcvelly
- Winner: Ashwater
- Runner-up: Lympstone
Although Buckland Brewer did not win any prizes this year, the supporting letter from the judges is very encouraging and offers some ideas for the future:
Buckland Brewer is a charming, pretty and compact village. It was mainly tidy with a small amount of old litter found on verges and in gutters and cigarette ends in other areas. Verges were well trimmed. Road signs were in need of a clean.
There were some houses in several roads, which had very weedy gutters. However, most houses, gardens, outbuildings, walls and fences were very well maintained. There are some lovely gardens. No allotments were found, although the website indicates they exist.
The Village Hall is central to the village life and well used. The kitchen looked adequate. It needs some external maintenance to the guttering/down pipes and the window sills. The telephone kiosk looks shabby. Notice boards were in good condition and had current information. No BKVposter was on display.
The Village Green was in good condition. Village children had written poems about WW1 and placed them next to poppies planted on the small green in front of the church porch. The school grounds looked tidy and well kept. There is an excellent playing field for cricket and football, which is well mown. The field was not shown on the map provided. The cricket wicket was well tended. The goal posts on the football pitch are rusty. The football pitch is also used for the village fete. There are new seats for spectators to enjoy the scene or the games. The seats at the Tarka Housing development were just acceptable, but need the lichen removed. Near the church the four seats are well positioned but one will need painting.
The footpath opposite the church was accessible and tidy. The path in Barton Road was littered and overgrown in places. On another visit the entrance to this path was obstructed by a householder’s wheelie bin.
The Community Shop serves the needs of the village and is run by a team of twenty volunteers. lt is well stocked selling amongst other things – local preserves, sweets and vegetables. Close by, there is the ”Sweet Window”, a delightful idea. Locally made sweets are sold through the little window by the very pleasant shopkeeper. The pub is very good and has clean toilets. The car park was also clean and tidy. lt is clearly popular with villagers. The bar staff were helpful and friendly and the food there was enjoyed by several judges. The commercial premises in Gorwood Road look very shabby, weedy and detract from the village scene. Two abandoned cars were also found. They looked to have been in situ for quite a time.
The Anglican Church dates back to Norman times and are a central feature of the village. It is beautifully maintained and is clearly much used and much loved. The porch has recently been restored to a very high standard. The church yard was well mown. The grass area in front and the war memorial were beautiful. The notice board here was good. The kissing gate needs attention and gate posts need painting. The Methodist Chapel was closed. The surrounding area was tidy.
The village map was rather poor and failed to show several of the features needed for judging purposes. Judges especially reported it difficult to find key buildings. The website had much good information and was user friendly. The village clearly has many groups and activities for young and old alike. There are weekly coffee mornings to bring residents together. Both the Parish Church and the Methodist Church are actively reaching out to the community. The Parish Council are actively leading initiatives for future housing and economic developments for the village and the wider Parish.
Buckland Brewer showed itself to good effect as a new entrant in the Best Kept Village Competition this year. The standard was very high in the New Entry category. Judges felt that with attention to the points highlighted, as needing attention, Buckland Brewer could be a future winning village in the Small ViIIage category of the competition. We hope to see you in the competition again next year!