Volunteer recognised in New Year Honours list for keeping his village green

Barry Buxton was named in the New Year Honours list.
Barry Buxton was named in the New Year Honours list.
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Selfless volunteer Barry Buxton has been recognised for all his hard work in Ropsley in the Queen’s New Year Honours list.

Mr Buxton, 70, of Paddock Close in Ropsley has given up countless hours of his time over almost 50 years to help keep his village looking its best.

His tireless work has meant Ropsley has won the title of Lincolnshire’s Best Kept Village nine times since the inception of the competition in 1975.

He said: “I didn’t believe it at first when I got the letter.

“I always used to joke when the Honours list came out every year ‘oh, they’ve missed me out again’ but I never thought I would ever get anything.

“But it is something I have always enjoyed doing. I get so much enjoyment out of it and I still do. It’s a wonderful feeling.”

Mr Buxton maintains the churchyard and cemetery at St Peter’s church and the area around the war memorial in the village. For many years he also looked after the upkeep of the village playing field - all voluntarily.

Mr Buxton hopes there may be one more Best Kept Village title for the village before he packs up.

He said: “It’s quite competitive now which is a good thing

“I’d like to win it one more time so we can put the plaque in the cemetery. Then, when I get there, I will pass it.

“It’s always been a challenge and I like a challenge but a lot of people in the village don’t know what it used to be like when we started.

“I don’t know what will happen when I pack up. Perhaps it will go back to its nature stage.”