Towns and villages gear up for competition

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TOWNS and villages are preparing to battle it out to be crowned the best in Lincolnshire.

The first round of of the 50th anniversary of Lincolnshire Best Kept Villages and Small Towns competition is due to start in July, with 123 communities from across the county taking part.

Market Rasen and Caistor are both competing in the small market towns class, along with eight other towns. Tealby features in the ‘past winners’ category – it is the only place in West Lindsey to compete in this class.

Faldingworth, Grasby, Osgodby and Kirkby, Swallow and Wickenby have been entered into the ‘class one’ competition for places with a population under 500.

Middle Rasen is in ‘class two’ with a population under 2,000 and Keelby and Welton are in the ‘class three’ category, both having a population under 7,000. The competition - organised by Community Lincs, the rural community council for Lincolnshire - is run in partnership with the Lincolnshire branch of Campaign to Protect Rural England, with sponsorship from district councils and Lincolnshire County Council.

Organiser Teresa Palmer from Community Lincs said Lincolnshire’s competition continues to be the most successful in the country.

Over the coming months more than 80 volunteer judges from all over Lincolnshire will be traversing the county to assess villages and small towns.

And to celebrate the competition’s 50th anniversary there is an additional category for shops, sponsored by the Federation of Small Businesses’ Real Life Entrepreneurs project.

Shops in the larger communities will be assessed by judges in September and the winner will receive a £200 voucher to use in their community for floral displays.

Ms Palmer said there has been an increase in the number of entries this year and she is delighted the introduction of the new category for shops has been received in a positive way.

The winners will be announced in September.