Countryside Alliance Awards

 

COUNTRYSIDE ALLIANCE

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The Champions for the North East in 2012

The lucky winners will go on to represent the North East at the UK & Ireland finals at Parliament in Westminster on 13th March. North East Judge Ann-Marie Trevelyan, who judged the region, introduces the winners she is sending for consideration by the UK & Ireland panel:

 

Local Food
Winner - Blagdon Farm Shop, Blagdon, Northumberland, www.theblagdonfarmshop.co.uk/ 01670 789 924


“Blagdon represents local produce presented with love and flair. The model is “own produce, local produce, then the best of the rest”. This encapsulates what our attitude to food needs to be; it is simple and it ensures quality, taste and support for the local farmers and producers who work so hard. The Blagdon team have developed relationships with local producers to ensure that the short food chain can benefit as many local people as possible. The team goes to huge efforts to increase their range of local produce – this is evident from the packed shelves and it’s excellent to know local farmers & producers have an outlet to approach. The “Blagdon seal” sticker is a quality guarantee, which acts as a local food kitemark, and I can testify that the produce is exceptional. The in-house butcher and butchery counter teams are on hand to advise and help with different cuts of meat, and there is wonderful service with a smile. Butcher apprentices are taken on and trained, a vital part of the business that will help to ensure the next generation of butchers – a breed very much under threat. Jo and the team have a clear focus: quality local produce and giving customers access to the best that Northumberland has to offer. Congratulations to the team.”
Highly commended – Knitsley Farm shop, Consett, Durham

 

Village Shop
Winner – Humshaugh village shop, Humshaugh, Hexham www.humshaughshop.co.uk/ 01434 681258


“Humshaugh is community-minded to an exceptional degree. The shop itself is a meeting place, a tourist information service, a beacon for local produce and a financial supporter to local good causes such as local students and wildlife initiatives – and all run by volunteers. The famous Humshaugh shopping bag is being photographed all over the world by villagers & fans of the shop. The Humshaugh effect is clearly strong, the bag a quirky tribute to the high esteem in which locals hold their shop. I am particularly impressed that the shop now runs a community car for local people to use, overcoming poor bus services in favour of a can-do mentality for the rural community. This is a model for community shops everywhere.”
Highly commended – Belsay shop, Belsay, Northumberland

 

Enterprise
Winner – Slack House Farm, Gilsland, Brampton, Cumbria CA8 7DB www.slackhousefarm.co.uk

Highly commended – Berwick Garden centre, East Ord, Berwick on Tweed, http://www.berwick-gardencentre.co.uk/Berwick_Garden_Centre/Berwick_Garden_Centre-Home.html 01289 302383

 

Butcher
Winner – R. Green and Son, Longframlington, Morpeth, www.greenbutcher.co.uk/ 01665 570 253


This local butcher is uncompromising in his support for local farmers and the community he serves with such dedication. Everything sold is local, and this is no mean feat since there is no local abattoir, but it is important to Chris that his customers can drive past future produce in the local fields and have a peace of mind about the traceability of what they are buying. It is especially important in light of the horsemeat scandal that traceability and labeling is paramount, and the short, transparent food chain here reflects the importance of that. It is the only truly sustainable way forward for our food industry. The customer service is as good as the produce – Chris and the team support local businesses and schools and are truly part of this rural community. Sausages from Greens are part of the local culture and I am proud to honour Greens with this award.
Highly commended – William Peat butchers, Horsemarket, Barnard Castle, Durham, DL12 8BH 01833 638123

 

Start up category
Winner – Cross Lanes Organic Farm, Cross Lanes, Barnard Castle, www.crosslanesorganics.co.uk/ 01833 630619


“Cross Lanes only opened on 27th October 2011 and is an organic farm shop, café and horticultural centre. With a sustainable ethos and focus on presenting traditional produce in a modern setting, Cross Lanes is an excellent new initiative which contributes to the local economy while also supporting other local businesses. I was impressed by the family’s efforts to set up a new business and they should be commended for their determination and hard-work. The set-up is so welcoming: a cafe restaurant and a farm retail shop which houses a butcher, delicatessen, general store and art/craft section. The horticultural centre is slowly developing and I look forward to seeing it develop through the coming year. Cross Lanes is the hub of a bigger project, 400 acres presently in organic conversion, where a shorthorn herd, rare breed pig stocks, sheep and other enterprises are being established. I am excited to see how this ambitious and feel-good business progresses, I am rooting for them!”
Highly commended – Eleanor’s Byre, Embleton, Alnwick, www.eleanorsbyre.co.uk/ 01665 571371