Residents in a picturesque village are celebrating after winning the top prize in this year’s Essex Best Kept Village competition.

Stisted came top of its class for villages with a population of between 300-800, with Rayne the runner-up.

Parish council chairman John Clark said:”Following on from our success in receiving the Essex Village of the Year in 2011 we are delighted to now receive a further award.

“This award further recognises the dedication and committment of our community to maintaining a high standard of excellence.”

The Rev Ray Sams, vicar of All Saints Church, said: “It reflects a lot of hard work on the part of a lot of good people who are justifiably pleased with the environment that they live in and that they have helped to create.”

See this week's Times for the full story.