Villages hailed the best

BEER and Branscombe are among Devon’s best kept villages.

The picturesque pair won the new entry and small village sections of the Campaign to Protect Rural England and Mole Valley Farmers’ competition respectively.

Beer, visited by judges in July, received 95 points out of 100. It was described as a “colourful and delightful” village with a high standard of tidiness and excellent commercial premises and shops.

Judges singled out the “most attractive” private gardens and beach, the “lovely” Jubilee Gardens and the “immaculate and picturesque” fishing and boating areas. The only faults found were the “shabby” notice boards.

Their report summary said: “Beer is a very active village with lots going on as well as the thriving fishing industry.”

Highlights of the judges’ Branscombe visit in May were the “tidy and welcoming” school, and “beautiful” church and surrounding area. The Forge, bakery and pubs were considered “well worth a visit” and a credit to the “charming and well kept village”.

The Sea Shanty beach caf� and shop was deemed “excellent” and the memorial to the grounding of the Napoli described as well done. Properties from the top to the bottom of the village were hailed as of a good standard.

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Awarding Branscombe 98 points, judges said: “The village was immaculate and it was very hard to find anything to criticise.”

Both villages will receive a shield, traditional green road sign, framed certificate and �100 of MVF tokens at presentations on dates to be confirmed in late September/early October.

District councillor for Beer and Branscombe Mike Green was “immensely proud” of the villages.

He attributed their success to the lack of litter and tidiness.

He said: “Kevin Hale looks after just about everything in Beer, from grass cutting to street sweeping, and in Branscombe a lot of that’s done by the residents.”