Belfast Telegraph

Video: Scarva lifts top Best Kept Award

By Gary Grattan

The pretty village of Scarva, near Banbridge in Co Down has taken the top title in the prestigious SuperValu Best Kept Town and Village Awards for 2010.



The annual Best Kept Awards are organised by the Northern Ireland Amenity Council (NIAC) and sponsored by independent retail group SuperValu.

Pioneered in the 1950s, they have commended thousands of towns, villages, housing areas, schools and healthcare facilities on their work to improve the environment over the past six decades.

Video: Gary Grattan visits Scarva

Scarva is no stranger to the Best Kept Awards, having won seven accolades since 1978, including the title of Northern Ireland’s Best Kept Town in 2006.

NIAC judges visited the participating areas over the summer and selected Scarva as the Best Kept Small Village, before going on to give it the top award out of a shortlist of five winning towns and villages.

Judges were impressed with the community participation in the village, with local people getting involved to create a better environment, including a well-maintained canal path and public park. They commented that the work to improve the public areas in Scarva had ‘injected it with new economic life’, encouraging tourism.

Doreen Muskett, President of NIAC, said Scarva was a deserving winner.

“Scarva is a very clean and attractive village and one where it is evident the local community has a great deal of civic pride. It is also clear that people in the village work together to achieve these great results and this community co-operation is what being a Best Kept winner is all about.”

Ms Muskett continued; “More than half a century ago the SuperValu Best Kept Awards were established to encourage people to make the most of their surroundings, to protect our diverse wildlife and plant life and make Northern Ireland a great place to be. We would like to congratulate all of this year’s winners for demonstrating a real dedication to the environment, especially Scarva for taking the title of Northern Ireland’s Best of the Best for 2010.”

Other winners this year include Coleraine, the Best Kept Large Town; Cookstown, Best Kept Medium Town; Moira, Co Down, Best Kept Small Town; Ahoghill, Co Antrim – named the Best Kept Large Village. The village of Seaforde in Co Down won the Welcome Award, which was introduced recently for newcomers to the scheme. Dungiven, Co Londonderry won the title of Most Improved entry.

Housing areas were also acknowledged for their commitment to environmental improvement and the winners include Coleshill Park, Enniskillen, the Best Kept Large Housing Area; Lomond Heights in Cookstown, the Best Kept Medium Housing Area Award; Garvey Court, Lisburn, the Best Kept Small Housing Area and Sheils Court, Ballymoney, the Best Kept Sheltered Housing Area in Northern Ireland.

The Ellen McGowan Award for the Best Kept NI Housing Executive housing area went to Trea Gardens, Toomebridge.



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