Countryside Alliance Awards



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Meet Yorkshire's Champions for 2013

The Yorkshire Champions in the 2013 Countryside Alliance Awards (aka the Rural Oscars) have been announced, with top local businesses now going forward to the UK final. The Awards are the Countryside Alliance’s annual celebration of rural produce, skills, enterprise and heritage through our small hard-working businesses. These are the ninth annual awards and they have quickly become the rural award to win. They run across four categories: local food; village shop/ Post Office; butcher and start-up. 

The lucky winners will go on to represent Yorkshire at the UK finals at Parliament in Westminster on 30th April.  Awards judge Jill Grieve, who visited each business, introduces the winners:


Local Food category, generously sponsored by H Weatherhead & Sons butchers of Pateley Bridge

Champion: Our Cow Molly, Dungworth, South Yorkshire, S6 6GW, 0114 2332683, Twitter: @OurCowMolly

Jill says: ““Even just visiting this bustling dairy farm puts a smile on your face, and that’s before you’ve even tasted the ice-cream. With the dairy industry in freefall the Andrew family redoubled its efforts to go the distance for the next generation – a gutsy move that has paid off. Award winning ice-cream is just the tip of the iceberg here, as a commitment to other local producers and the education of youngsters is also strong. While we were there Sheffield Honey Company owner Jez Daughtry dropped off a delivery and paid tribute to the support Eddie and the team have given. No one else in the area delivers milk fresh from the herd each morning to thousands of local homes and businesses, and the freshness even has the baristas in the local coffee houses in raptures. Eddie was instrumental in setting up a Sheffield food producers market, sponsors the local football team and hosts an educational trip from a local school every fortnight. An extensive redevelopment will see a purpose built classroom for these trips, with a huge window where the youngsters will be able to see the herd grazing as they learn about dairy farming. Recent sponsorship of the Sheffield panto saw 18,000 tubs of Our Cow Molly ice-cream consumed over Christmas, with “Molly” the panto cow bringing further recognition to the business. Eddie Andrew’s energy and commitment is richly deserving of this Award.”

Highly Commended: Bolster Moor Farm Shop, Golcar, Huddersfield, West Yorkshire, HD7 4JU, 01484 648274 Twitter: @bolstermoorfarm



Village shop/ Post Office category, generously sponsored by Rural Solutions, Broughton Hall

Champion: The Fleece Pantry, Holme, Holmfirth, West Yorkshire, HD9 2QG 01484 683449

Jill says: “Here is a campaigning pub landlady with the welfare of her community at the heart of everything she does. During a particularly bad winter many years ago the village was cut off, so Shirley Amesbury adapted a pub storeroom and turned it into a small village shop to keep local residents going. It is now a much loved part of village life that no one would be without, selling many of the dishes from the pub’s menu, local fruit, veg, meat and pies. There is a huge amount of logic in a pub and village shop operating together, as it ensures no food waste, with unused fruit and veg ending up on the menu in the pub. Shirley’s common-sense approach has even seen her launch a campaign to save the public toilets across the road from the pub, taking on the local authorities and even servicing the loos herself until a decision is made on their future. With the Tour de Yorkshire coming through this popular tourist destination Shirley and her team have a busy year ahead of them, and we are pleased to name them the best village shop in Yorkshire.”

Highly commendedMiddleton Post Office Tea Parlour, Middleton, Pickering, North Yorkshire, YO18 8NX, 01377 217340



Butcher category, generously sponsored by The World of James Herriot, Thirsk

Champion : H. Weatherhead Butchers, 9, High Street, Pateley Bridge, North Yorkshire 01423 711207

Jill says: “Last year’s Champions return bigger and better than ever. Now with Q Guild status (the hallmark of the quality butcher) Weatherheads are soon to open a new shop in Grassington, giving more people the opportunity to try their phenomenal produce. The Weatherheads have been Pateley Bridge butchers for generations and have adapted and survived while remaining relevant and busy on the modern high street. A visit to their farm shows the commitment to animal welfare, traceability and taste – all things consumers should insist upon. The personal charisma of Andrew Weatherhead and his young daughter’s enthusiasm for farming mean the Weatherheads of Pateley Bridge are a brand to be reckoned with.”

Joint Highly commendedRadfords, Sleights, Whitby, North Yorkshire, YO22 5EH, 01947 810229

Joint Highly commendedPaul Nicholson at Fodder, Great Yorkshire Showground, Harrogate, North Yorkshire, HG2 8NZ, 01423 546111 Twitter: @FodderHarrogate



Start-up category, generously sponsored by Keelham Farm Shop

Champion: Spuds and Berries Farm Shop, A63 Brackenholme, Hemingbrough, Selby, North Yorkshire, YO8 6EJ, 07970 462699 Twitter: @spudsandberries

Jill says: “Laura Wass is still only 23, and having started up a pick your own on a part of her parents’ farm, two years on she presides over a busy farm shop and extensive restaurant serving the best of Yorkshire produce. Laura is a no-nonsense businesswoman who acknowledges that being young and female in the farming industry can often bring its own problems, but she has stayed focused on her mission of providing great produce and a meeting place for local people. She and two other girls were manning the butcher counter when we visited, which was fantastic to see. The restaurant has only been open since November 2013 and already has wedding bookings for the year, which is a tribute to Laura’s marketing and business skills. With plans to extend the PYO and put in an orchard it is clear that Laura is a farming force for the future.”

Highly commended: Liley Farm, Millhouse Green, Penistone, South Yorkshire S36 9NG 01226 767483