THE search has begun for Dorset’s Best Village as the 2013 competition is launched.

The competition has been organised by Dorset Community Action (DCA) for the past 26 years. Entry packs are being sent to the county’s villages inviting them to enter either through the parish council, village hall committee or other active community group. In 2012 almost 50 villages took part.

Magna Housing, which has been the major sponsor for the last three years, has renewed its support for a further three years.

DCA’s competition organiser Rita Burden said: “This year we would like to encourage even more communities to take part in this popular competition. Many have never entered and all have the potential to win.

“Any organisation can enter its community – the village hall committee, school, youth club, Scout or Guide group. Even Dorset’s small hamlets can enter.”

Two special entry categories will also continue for a fourth year. The People’s Project will be awarded to the village judged to have entered the best project involving locally active people and Best Environment will go to the village judged to be running the most green initiatives.

Mrs Burden said: “It is not just about how the village looks. It is also about how active the village is - how it builds up a sense of community spirit and addresses the needs of its residents, especially the vulnerable.”

The deadline for entries is 5pm on Monday, April 8. Judging will start in May.

Entry packs can be downloaded from or on 01305 216407.