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Bratton Wins the Best Kept Village in West Wiltshire



Large Village 2019

We were given a couple of excellent maps with a clear key to what Bratton had ‘entered’ and where to see them. We also had a copy of Bratton News and a useful ‘Village Brief’. The village website is well laid out, easy to access, clear and full of up to date information.

We started at St James’ Church, Churchyard and the extension to the Graveyard. We were hugely impressed by the overall appearance of all three areas. Grass well cut, paths weed free, trees pruned and all graves looked after. Work was on-going in the extension but even this was neat and tidy. There was no litter. The natural stone steps to the village were in excellent condition and looked very safe. Reeves’ Orchard is a wonderful wildlife sanctuary and orchard and beside it was a small allotment area which was not fully in use but was tidy and productive. A larger allotment area elsewhere in the village was immaculate and very productive. The Baptist church yard is deliberately set aside as a conservation area with a mown path through the head stones.

The Court House is full of character and had well cared for gardens at the front. The school surrounds were immaculate. The War Memorial sits proudly on the edge of the B3098 and is well cared for. The working telephone box was pristine as was the central bus shelter, though the one towards Westbury needed a tidy (not easy to keep tidy in this location). The outside of the Central Store with Post Office was free of litter, something difficult to achieve with so many people using the shop and on the road through the village. There were hardly any weeds growing at the foot of walls and consequently no traps for litter, this was particularly noted around the War Memorial. There were many noticeboards, all in good condition with in-date posters. The mini trading estate of garages, workshops and various sheds was tidy.

The Village Green with its children’s play equipment was clean and clear of dog fouling. The well-used footpath between the B road and the School through the Village Green and in front of the Pavilion was, again litter free. The Pavilion is looking a little tired but notices on it told us that a contract for refurbishment is in hand with the Parish Council. Front gardens were very well tended including those along the Ball. When we looked round the Church Institute we were reassured that people caring for young children were alert. We were challenged.

The Playing Fields looked fine though the pavilion/changing room structures need to clear weeds from the base of the walls. We walked along several of the many paths and found all of them accessible, undergrowth cleared and free of litter and dog fouling.

We were so pleased to have judged a village where there has been so much successful self-help. There was so much that was very good; from the support for the environment, to care of the very young. Well done Bratton.