The village of Ingham near Lincoln has been named as the Campaign to Protect Rural England’s (CPRE) best kept village in Lincolnshire.
Ingham was awarded 385 points in the Class I category, meaning it scooped the award ahead of runner-up East Keal.
West Lindsey District Councillor Roger Patterson praised Ingham as a great asset to the district, adding: “It’s a beautiful place and this is a well-deserved award.
“Ingham is a real community village and the parish council do a lot of work to make sure it maintains these high standards. To me, it’s one of the best villages in Lincolnshire.
“The village hall attained a gold standard two years ago and that, combined with things like the Ingham Heritage Group, the Tuesday Lunch Club, community tennis courts and the village’s gardener taking care of the look of the village make it a really enviable place to live.
“It would be really good if this inspired other villages to get involved.”
Ingham was founded in 500 AD and was one of a number of ‘springline’ villages founded at points where springs rose from underneath the scarp slope of the Cliff.
During the Second World War, it became a satellite RAF base where certain Polish air crews were based.
The village has undergone plenty of renovations in recent months including the transformation of a village phone box into a book exchange.
Parish council clerk Gavin Monks added: “Residents are encouraged to borrow reading material and to drop off books for others to enjoy, which has been a real success.
“There are other projects taking shape here, for example, the school has just staked out some space near the village hall for a wildlife area for the children.
“The fact that private and individual premises are really taken care of also helps, as well as the footpaths around the village and the village greens being cleared regularly.”
CPRE Lincolnshire branch secretary Stamford Marthews, said: “The best kept village award has run for over fifty years. The awards given out are for villages where the judges recognise that a sense of positive community spirit is present.
“The competition is very subjective and judges score highly where they are impressed with the way a village is kept, along with the evidence that residents are working together.
“Villages are effectively judged three times as three different judges reflect their views and a total is calculated from their collective findings. The judging is, in effect on the way people live their lives in villages and how the village’s future is cared for.”