Villagers are celebrating after scooping £200 for their well-kept church yard.

St Stephen’s Church in Cold Norton impressed the judges from the Rural Community Council of Essex with its efforts to encourage wildlife.

The churchyard boasts wildflower and nettle areas for butterflies, bird boxes and log piles for the hedgehogs and insects.

Martin Gunfield also cuts the grass to keep the more manicured areas looking ship-shape.

Church warden Isabel McNally said: “We came second last year as well.

“It was a pleasant surprise because we’re only a very small congregation."