Tiffield wins Northants Best Village Award 2022

Friday, July 15, 2022

Over 65 villagers and guests gathered on a lovely evening last Monday 11th July for a special ceremony at the Hunsbury Hill Centre, Northampton to hear the results of an event that celebrates the community spirit and quality of life in the County’s villages. The annual Northamptonshire Village Awards (NVAs) celebrates how inclusive and sustainable a village is, two strands that reflect a thriving community and that add to the quality of life for all residents. This year the village of Tiffield was awarded a Gold level and the prestigious title of Northamptonshire Best Village 2022 along with a prize of £500 to be used for community projects. There was also a separate award for the Most Creative Use of a Communal Space, which was shared by Orlingbury, for their amazing churchyard, and Nether Heyford, for their excellent allotments and community orchard. Both groups received £100 each to be spent on community projects. A special mention and £50 was awarded to Wappenham for their very creative installation of superfast broadband by the villagers!

The level of award given for the NVAs is based upon how well a community does across a range of criteria covering all aspects of village life from its facilities and amenities, how welcoming it is, local activities, tidiness and presentation to its environment and green credentials, future sustainability and most importantly community spirit! Each entrant is awarded either a Bronze, Silver or Gold level certificate along with a small cash prize, courtesy of CPRE Northamptonshire, who sponsored this year’s event.

The judges stated that Tiffield is a thriving village with a great community spirit. There are some excellent green spaces and pocket park and the judges were particularly impressed with the way the local pub, The George, has becomes such a wonderful community hub for the village, hosting many clubs and activities and even a small community shop.  The villagers were enthusiastic and passionate about their activities and supportive of others and they have built excellent relationships with nearby villages particularly through the use of its excellent Community Minibus.

Elaine O’Leary, CEO of Northamptonshire ACRE and a judge for the NVA, commented: ““The wonderful quality of the communities we visited meant that the judges had great difficulty in deciding on the level of award for each village. It was a pleasure to meet a wide cross-section of villagers and to see the range of opportunities and initiatives that are generated in our rural communities. We want to compliment every village that participated and thank them all for making the judges visits so informative and enjoyable.’’

James Saunders Watson, HM Lord Lieutenant of Northamptonshire and President of Northamptonshire ACRE presented all the awards to the groups and commented: “It was so good to be able to celebrate the best of our village communities across the county and well done to Tiffield for being chosen as Best Village”.

This was the first year for the Most Creative Use of a Communal Space award, sponsored by Norris and Fisher Insurance Brokers, and all the entrants demonstrated how important these spaces are to village life. Orlingbury’s lovely eco-friendly churchyard brings together all ages to maintain the space, producing a real haven of biodiversity that encourages tremendous engagement with the village and surrounding areas. They are even looking to develop an outdoor compost toilet for the volunteers! The judges felt that Nether Heyford’s allotments and community orchard were well designed with sustainability and access in mind. There is an enormous range of volunteer friendly activities for all ages including the community cut flower garden and the village has developed a wonderful, biodiverse area benefiting all the community.

Details of all the awards can be found on the Northamptonshire ACRE website along with photographs of the presentations. For further information regarding the Awards for the NVA and the Communal Space, or to enquire about taking part in next year’s awards, please contact Elaine O’Leary on 01604 765888 or via email at [email protected]