Revealed: Northamptonshire village of the year 2022, as crowned by rural charity

Judges said the winner has “great” community spirit

A Northamptonshire rural charity has revealed its village of the year for 2022 after a vigorous judging process across the county.

The annual Northamptonshire Village Awards (NVAs), run by Northamptonshire Action with Communities in Rural England (ACRE), celebrate how inclusive and sustainable a village is.

More than 65 villagers and guests gathered on Monday (July 11) for an award ceremony at the Hunsbury Hill Centre to hear the results.

The ACRE Northamptonshire Village Awards at the Hunsbury Hill centre on Monday (July 11).

Elaine O’Leary CEO of Northamptonshire ACRE and a judge for the NVA said: “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.’’

This year the village of Tiffield, near Towcester, 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.

The judges stated: “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 become 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.”

James Saunders Watson HM Lord Lieutenant of Northamptonshire and president of Northamptonshire ACRE presented all the awards to the groups.

He added: “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.”

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 Campaigning for the Countryside (CPRE) Northamptonshire, who sponsored this year’s event.

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There was also a separate award for the ‘Most Creative Use of a Communal Space’, sponsored by Norris and Fisher Insurance Brokers, which was shared by Orlingbury, for its “amazing” churchyard, and Nether Heyford, for its excellent allotments and community orchard. Both groups received £100 each to be spent on community projects.

A special mention and £50 was also awarded to Wappenham for its “creative” installation of superfast broadband by the villagers.

For more information about taking part in next year’s awards contact Elaine O’Leary on 01604 765888 or via email at [email protected]