Best Kept Village - 2017


Haughton - Best Kept Village in Stafford Area - Our second year as a Small Village - The story of the season unfolds below

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What’s new this year?  Our war memorial has been cleaned and re-pointed, our telephone box is being made redundant (with its usage to be decided) and our children’s playing field has a new fence and benches.

Our new development of 11 houses in Rectory Lane is ongoing and will not be completed before the final judging.  Some of our normally pristine verges have been necessarily churned up by this work.  But won’t it look smart when it’s finished?

We are pleased to have joined in with the wildlife-friendly area initiative, introduced by BKV this year.  For many years we have had an ecology area in the churchyard.  In 2014 two residents conducted a hedgehog survey and we opened up the Grassy Lane to pedestrians and made efforts to encourage wildlife in the brook and hedges.  For the judges to consider this year, we have named on our map the Grassy Lane and the small copse which is situated at the east end of the playing field.  Our earlier attempts to sow wildflower seeds in the copse were unsuccessful, but the area has numerous nettles, which are very insect-friendly.  The copse, playing field, Grassy Lane and brook link with the school grounds, where a pond is under construction.  The area is known to attract great-crested newts.  Currently, the Grassy Lane is affected by the new housing development, which backs on to it.  There is a construction site entrance next to the west end of the lane and there has been some removal of trees and hedging and disturbance to the vegetation on the banks of the brook.  Nevertheless, we have included it as a wildlife area, because the east end is undisturbed, and it is hoped that during the season the vegetation will naturalize again.

So - we’re ready for the off.  And here are a few things to begin with.

Early season newsletters






Start of campaign posters


Civic Amenity Van Visits


Dog-fouling Awareness

Garden and Hanging Baskets Competition

Tidy-up Dates

2017 Launch Flyer

“The Spirit of Best Kept Village” Competition


This competition, organised by the BKV Working Group of the Community Council of Staffordshire, invites entries from those aged over 18 on the theme “The Spirit of Best Kept Village”.    Entries can be made in two categories - Photographs and Paintings and Sketches.  The closing date for entries is 1.6.2017.


Entry Form and Details

Our school posters are once again on display at the Village Hall.  A grand total of 121 works of art on the theme of BKV are cladding the fence panels at the side of the car park and will remain in place until August.  The children presented their work on themes such as anti-littering, anti-dog-fouling and environmental awareness.  Many thanks to the pupils of St Giles Primary Academy for their hard work, and to the Village Hall committee for hosting and presenting the display.

Children’s Poster Competition Winners



Children’s Poster Competition Winners



Our first scheduled Tidy-up was held on Thursday 27th April.  The weather was rather cold and unseasonable, but dry.  Thirty people came to support and worked on the tasks of litter-picking, removing debris from gutters, sweeping, chopping back weeds and gathering leaves.  

The second scheduled Tidy-up was held on Wednesday 3rd May.  As on the previous occasion the weather was dry, but rather cold.  After gathering at the Village Hall, volunteers dispersed in pairs or small groups to undertake the many tasks, which included edging the borders on Newport Road, spotting and removing cigarette butts and stray cans, feeding the flower beds, mowing around the war memorial and tidying-up the churchyard.  

Sponsorship is an essential part of Haughton’s BKV campaign.  Without the generous financial support of local businesses and individuals, as well as the large amount of voluntary work  undertaken by so many people, the village could not look as good as it does.  

The older pupils of Haughton St Giles Academy took part in Staffordshire BKV’s new Children’s Poetry and Prose Competition.  Entries were invited which promoted Best Kept Village.  Three winning poems were chosen by the school, and these will be entered into the county competition.  On Friday 5th May Cllr Derek Warbrick, BKV Leader, presented prizes to the three writers of the winning poems, and to the six artists who produced the winning posters.


Winning poems

Two examples of sponsorship signs

Work on the football pitch has continued and the benefits are now easy to see

Our wildlife-friendly areas are looking good, with the plants in the Grassy Lane and the copse springing back to lushness.  The robin seems very much at home there.

The Tidy-up of May 10th involved edging the grass and tidying the churchyard in the evening shadows

A group photo of some of the many Tidy-up volunteers was taken on Thursday 18th May.  Plenty of work was undertaken afterwards, including cleaning old gravestones and cutting back straying growth on the cemetery lime trees.

Mid-late season newsletters






The season is well underway, with regular Tidy-ups taking place, often supported by twenty-thirty volunteers.  Unlike last year, when more than one session had to be cancelled or curtailed, the weather has been kind, with no rain to dampen the spirits and make the tasks difficult.  The summer bedding has been completed, so perhaps a little rain would be welcome, preferably at night, followed by a warm day ...



Avril Cotterill


stalwart of many village organisations and activities

including the


Best Kept Village Competition


on being awarded the


British Empire Medal (BEM)

for services to the community in Haughton, Staffordshire


in the 2017


Queen’s Birthday Honours

Some of this year’s colourful tubs and baskets

Our well-attended Tidy-ups continued throughout July

The 2017 judging has been completed and it will soon be time for the results.  These will be announced at The Best Kept Village Competition Presentation Evening, to be held on Monday 11th August in Eccleshall.


Haughton’s Best Kept Village Awards Evening, which includes the presentation of prizes in the Best Kept Gardens and Hanging Baskets Competition, will be held on Friday 14th August at Haughton Village Hall, beginning at 7.30pm.


Awards Evening Poster

The Result


The 2017 results were announced by John Perry, MBE, Chairman of the Best Kept Village Competition Working Group at Eccleshall Community Centre on Monday 7th August.


Haughton achieved the following results:


Best Kept Small Village in Stafford Area - Winner


Best Kept Village (Large or Small) in Stafford Area - Winner

Some of the award-winning BKV team pictured after the ceremony


Photo by Gnosall BKV

It isn’t over yet.  We still have our Awards Evening on Friday 11th August at 7.30pm at the Village Hall, the results of the Children’s Poster and Poem Competitions, and the presentation of the Trophy Pole, which will be back in the village for the first time since 2013.

2017 BKV Certificate

The 2017 Best Kept Village Evening of Awards was held in the Village Hall on Friday 14th August, with many people attending.  Mike Allen, Chairman of Haughton Parish Council gave this year’s result and Derek Warbrick, Vice-Chairman of Haughton Parish Council and BKV Leader gave a review of the campaign.  Roger Barker, President of Haughton and District Garden and Countryside Guild presented the awards to the winners of the Best Kept Garden and Hanging Baskets Competition, before the evening concluded with refreshments.


Results of the Best Kept Garden and Hanging Baskets Competition

It’s back.  The Trophy Pole returned to the village on Friday 1st September and was erected on the corner of Newport Road and Jolt Lane by a team from Streetscene.

An award ceremony for the prizewinners in the children’s BKV competitions was held by the Staffordshire Best Kept Village Working Party at Acton Trussell Village Hall on Monday 11th September.  Three children, who were all pupils at Haughton St Giles C of E Primary Academy when the competition was held, attended and received their prizes.  Sam Payne was awarded 2nd place in the 8-11 years poster competition.  In the new poetry competition Libby Leighton was awarded 2nd place and Matthew Everitt came 3rd.  Haughton’s BKV team congratulates the three children on their successes, and thanks them and all the children from Haughton St Giles for another wonderful effort in support of the villages’s BKV campaign.

September Newsletter

The Trophy Pole presentation took place on Monday 23rd October



Mr John Perry, MBE, Chairman of the BKV Competition Working Group, Cllr Derek Warbrick, Haughton BKV Team Leader, Vice-Chairman of Staffordshire County Council, Cllr Mrs Kath Perry, Mr Ray Perry, Stafford Borough Mayor, Cllr Aiden Godfrey and Chairman of Haughton Parish Council, Cllr Mike Allen at the start of the ceremony

Mr John Perry outlines some of Haughton’s achievements in the BKV competition, past and present

Mr David Owen, OBE, Chairman of Rubery Owen Holdings Ltd presents the brass plaque for the Trophy Pole to Cllr Derek Warbrick

A report on the event and more pictures can be found in the


October Newsletter


This concludes Haughton’s campaign in the Best Kept Village Competition 2017


Many thanks to all who took part