CAMPAIGNERS in two quiet corners of East Lancashire have cleaned up in the county’s best-kept villages awards.

An abundance of civic pride has seen Blacko named Lancashire’s champion village, narrowly pipping West Bradford, near Clitheroe.

And the best hamlet prize was presented to Wiswell, which scooped top honours after three runners-up placings.

Peter Hesketh, vice-chairman of Blacko Parish Council, said: “We have got a lot of volunteers who have worked tirelessly to make this happen.

“It makes Blacko such a pleasant place to live.

"And we’ve reached a point now where if someone sees something wrong, just while they are walking past, they will do something about it.”

He also paid tribute to the work of lengthsman David Bridge and his wife Vivienne, who co-ordinates volunteers.

In the recent past Blacko has been named the county’s best small village in 2002 and 2007.

The latter prize entitled them to compete for the champion category - but this was their last shot for glory as qualification only lasts for four years.

Parish councillor Maureen Robinson said Wiswell’s award was also due to the work of several community-spirited people.

Work had focused on regenerating the community garden and adopting the village telephone box, alongside planting schemes, taken up by residents, and a weeding initiative targetting roadsides.

Coun Robinson said: “I was born and brought up in Wiswell and it is nice to have some community spirit going again.”

Elsewhere Sabden was highly commended in the medium village division, Copster Green was given the best first-time entrant prize and Chatburn was named the most improved medium village.

Merit certificates were handed out to Sts Peter and Paul Church in Ribchester, Longridge Hall nursing home, Brindle’s community hall, Waddington’s Coronation Gardens, Sabden Crown Green Bowling Club, and North Valley and Old Langho caravan parks.