EAST Lancashire villages have featured heavily in the final standings of The Lancashire Best Kept Village Competition 2008.

Four out of the five categories were won by villages from the area that were picked out for being tidy and well maintained.

Taking the large village category was Whalley, while Chipping scooped the medium village accolade.

Ribchester was also highly commended in this category.

The small village prize was taken by West Bradford and Barley took the hamlet category.

Salesbury was also awarded for being the best of the first time entries.

The winner of the overall champion prize was St Michael’s on Wyre, near Garstang.

Competition organiser Jeanette Lowe said: “Ninety-nine villages entered the competition this year, a slight increase on last year.

“The judges look for evidence of community pride and effort to make the best of what exists, rather than looking for architectural merit, old world charm or pleasant surroundings.”

Away from the main awards, East Lancashire villages also achieved success.

Winner of the place of worship award was St Peter and St Paul RC Church, Ribchester, while West Bradford village hall was named the best public hall.

The sheltered accommodation prize went to Waddington’s Hospital Cottages and the best village shop went to Cosgroves of Whalley.

The caravan site prize went to Pendle Valley North, Roughlee, while Chipping won again in the war memorial category and best public toilet award.