Dorset’s Best Village Competition 2016 launched for 30th year

DorsetChoice of more categories to enter this year including Environment, “Best Village Shop”, People’s Project and Neighbourliness.

The search has begun for Dorset’s Best Village with the launch of the 2016 competition this week. The competition has been organised by Dorset Community Action (DCA) for the past 29 years. Entry details are being sent to the county’s villages inviting them to enter either through the parish council, village hall committee or other active community group.

Magna Housing has been the major sponsor for the competition since 2010 and has renewed its support again this year. Additional sponsorship comes from Dorset County Council, The Dorset Echo, Dorset Magazine, Blackmore Vale Magazine, along with local food producers Clipper Tea, Fudges Biscuits, Honeybuns, Craig’s Dairies and Helen Furness Catering.

DCA’s Competition Organiser Rita Burden says: “Last year we had 72 entries into the different categories of “Best Village”, so our aim again for this special 30th year is to encourage communities which have never taken part in this rewarding competition, to enter for the first time. Any organisation can enter its village – the village hall committee, school, youth club, scout or guide group, or any other active community group, besides the parish council. Even Dorset’s smallest hamlets can enter.”

David Aldwinckle, Magna Housing Association director, said, “We are particularly proud to be sponsoring the Best Village Awards again in this special 30th anniversary year. We’ve seen the awards go from strength to strength and they really help to promote community spirit in Dorset villages, making them great places to live in.”

Besides the main “Best Village” competition, there are four other entry sections: –

  • “The People’s Project” – the village judged to have entered the best project involving local active people;
  • “Environmental Champions” – the village judged to be doing the best ‘Green’ initiative.
  • “Best Village Shop” – the sponsors, Dorset branch of the Campaign to Protect Rural England (CPRE) is supporting this category for a third year. Communities are asked to nominate the village shop which serves them best.
  • Last year Magna introduced a new category – “Neighbourliness” which is all about what the community is doing to look after its most vulnerable and needy people. Any Dorset village can enter.

“We want to villages to demonstrate that they work together, taking a pride in their local surroundings and amenities, while promoting great community spirit” Rita Burden added.

The deadline for entries in the Best Village category only is 5.00pm on Monday 11th April 2016. For all other categories the deadline is 5.00pm on Monday 25thJuly 2016.

DCA is encouraging groups to save paper and postage by entering the competition online if possible.

Entry details can be downloaded from or by telephoning DCA on 01305 250921 to be sent a copy by email or on paper.