Coddenham is top village

VILLAGERS in a popular area of Suffolk are celebrating today after their picture postcard home scooped the coveted Village of the Year competition.Coddenham, near Stowmarket, beat 33 other entries in the county to win the prestigious Calor Village of the Year competition, which includes £600 prize money.

VILLAGERS in a popular area of Suffolk are celebrating today after their picture postcard home scooped the coveted Village of the Year competition.

Coddenham, near Stowmarket, beat 33 other entries in the county to win the prestigious Calor Village of the Year competition, which includes £600 prize money.

Chris Baber from the Coddenham Community Forum, said: "We are absolutely thrilled. It's very nice recognition for all the people in the village who put a lot of work and effort to make all these things happen.

"We have never entered this kind of thing before but we thought with the criteria that we had a very good chance.


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"We have got a fantastic community spirit and pull together all the strands including things for toddlers right through to the elderly.

"It really is a lovely place to live and it's up to people to be involved as much or as little as they want to be."

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The competition is organised by the Suffolk Association of Local Councils (SALC) with Suffolk County Council and the county's six district councils - Babergh, Mid Suffolk, Suffolk Coastal, St Edmundsbury, Forest Heath and Waveney.

Calor are the main sponsors of Village of the Year 2002, with additional support from Notcutts Nurseries and Adnams Brewery. The competition is supported by the East Anglian Daily Times.

Judges visited a number of villages throughout Suffolk with populations of between 401 and 5,000 people.

The entries were shortlisted to seven finalists and Coddenham was the winner. Dennington, near Framlingham came second, and Lavenham third.

Mary Mitson-Woods, chief executive of the SALC, said: "Coddenham impressed the judges with their wonderful community spirit, wide ranging activities and a project involving the purchase of land where the natural habitat is managed to produce thriving wildlife and flora for parishioners to enjoy.

"The churchyard is a marvellous example of wildflower habitat whilst still looking cared for and tidy.

"It had everything that we identify as being the best in country villages."

Coddenham, which has its own pub, shop and visiting doctors surgery, has bought two stretches of land to preserve woodland and country walks for local people.

There are cricket and football teams and a country club owned by the village with a bar, billiard table and poolrooms, as well as church and flower festivals.

Dennington will receive £350 and a Calor certificate, while £250 and a Calor certificate goes to Lavenham. All other finalists will receive Calor framed certificates.

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