A Housing association has helped to tidy up a village in preparation for Dorset’s Best Village Award.

Magna Housing lent one of its gardeners, Lewis Winn, to the residents of Winterbourne Steepleton to help brighten up the village with colourful plant displays.

Lewis helped to dig out flower beds and put in the plants so they will attract bees and butterflies to the village.

Lewis said the project took a lot of ‘effort’ but he felt ‘honoured’ to take part.

He said: “The ground was very hard and it took a lot of effort to dig out the flower bed, so I was glad I could help them make good progress.

“We even managed to put some plants in before I left!

“I was honoured to help in the project and I look forward to seeing it in its full glory when I next drive past.”

Shané Garner, a resident of Winterbourne Steepleton, came up with the idea of entering the village into the competition after she decided that the village was long overdue a clean-up.

She said: “I liked the idea of entering Dorset’s Best Village award, but decided we needed to do something to brighten up the village a bit more.

“We had the idea of contacting Magna to help with this bed because we saw how well-maintained the area was around Hamlands where Magna has properties. They keep the area looking very tidy.

“I developed a plan of working on five sites around the village over a number of months to tidy them up and put flowers in where we could.”

Children from Winterbourne Valley CE First School also helped to clean up the villa by developing planting designs. and took on the task with great enthusiasm.

Shané added: “We held a competition and the children were asked to sketch their ideas for the flower bed.

“There were 49 designs entered to the competition, but they were all so good we felt they were all winners.

“We’ve made sure that everything we have done is sustainable for the bit we have just done before moving on to the next part of the village.

“So we’ve been involving others in the village to make sure someone looks after the sites once they are finished.”