Countryside Alliance Awards

 

COUNTRYSIDE ALLIANCE

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The South East's Champions for 2012

The lucky winners will go on to represent the region at the UK & Ireland finals at Parliament in Westminster on 13th March. Regional Director Michelle Nudds and her judging team introduce the winners:

 

Local Food Category
Terrick Beef, Grove Farm, Terrick, Buckinghamshire http://terrickbeef.co.uk/ 07940 560465


“We had a huge number of nominations for Terrick Beef – their fan base is broad and very, very passionate so we are delighted to honour the Brunt family in this category. With ongoing controversy over our food chain we cannot recommend this local outfit more highly – Farmer Geoff Brunt is a through-and-through farmer. Food yards, not miles and exceptional animal husbandry are the hallmarks of the business. Terrick Beef is bred, reared and finished on sun-dried Terrick grass by Geoff. The genealogy and genetics of Geoff's cattle have taken many decades to perfect, meaning a premium taste. This business is everything that is right about food production in this country and we hope the public takes note. We owe it to our farmers and producers to sing their praises to the rooftops.”
Highly Commended: Blue Tin Produce, Ipsden, Wallingford, Oxfordshire, www.bluetinproduce.co.uk/ 01491 681145

 

 

Village Shop/ Post Office Category
Kirdford Village Stores, Kirdford, Billingshurst, West Sussex, www.kirdfordvillagestores.com/ 01403 820815


“In 2007 the shop in Kirdford Village closed and the community – historically a thriving and dynamic apple growing community – was left with little. In September 2007 a public meeting was held regarding converting a building, which was once home to a board room and social club, into a village shop. The response was unanimous and the Steering Group raised over £200,000 through fundraising events. The building was bought in 2009, renovated and officially opened in June 2010. This is a real beacon showing the way forward for other communities interested in co- ownership of their village shop. Everyone has a voice, everyone is involved and the community is much stronger as a result. Local produce and support for farmers and producers is something the village is passionate about and it shows. The shop also reaches out to other causes in the village and offers support by being the keyholder for the village tennis club, selling tickets for village events such as panto and jazz festivals on the village green. For all of December the Art Wall displays art from Kirdford and Plaistow Primary School Arts Club, which last year gave the Art Wall a festive display with some very happy father Christmases and reindeer! The local book club also meet in the shop once a month. The village also enjoys a small orchard, which was planted as a result of a small grant. Local residents were trained in the planting and care of the trees and the Community Chef cooked up a 3 course meal, using the apples to show their versatility, and in the process fed the workers and the shoppers!”

 

Enterprise Category
The Oxfordshire Shooting Ground, Enstone, Chipping Norton, Oxon www.theoxfordshireshootingschool.co.uk/ 07876 033 665


“Encouraging newcomers into shooting is something the Countryside Alliance is keen to do, and The Oxfordshire Shooting Ground is doing just that. Accessible and appealing to all ages, budgets and events, the ground is a smart enterprise that is doing its bit for the rural economy and sport shooting. The growing popularity of corporate days also means the Ground can reach a whole new audience and enthuse them about shooting sports. It is vitally important that we recognise shooting as a key part of the rural economy – and it is equally important to recognise that sport shooting is great fun. Good luck to this outfit in the UK & Ireland finals, you thoroughly deserve to be there.”

 

Butcher Category
Michael Humphries, Frensham, Farnham, Surrey, 01252 797191


“This is a great story of dedication to high quality butchery. Michael Humphries started in the butchery trade at the age of fifteen by sweeping the floors and washing up – since then he has worked in small shops, large shops, supermarkets and abattoirs and is recognised as a Master Butcher. For the last 29 years he has had his own village butcher’s shop in Rowledge, Surrey. He has built this business up from being on the verge of closure to what some would now regard as a ‘local institution’. Michael opened the farm shop in November 2011. The aim was to provide high quality locally produced meat, poultry and game in a very rural area, to promote the butcher’s shop and to provide a service that is not readily available in our fast-paced society. This is very much a local country business and great care is taken to ensure that local produce is sourced as much as possible. Michael has a very good longstanding relationship with local farmers and more than 60% of the meat, poultry and game that is sold is produced from local farms in Surrey and Hampshire. These animals are bred and raised in fields within a five mile radius of the shop. Beef and lamb are fed on grain produced locally whilst the free range pigs roam in nearby woodland. A local abattoir in Farnborough is used, ensuring the animals are not stressed when they arrive, owing to the short transport time from farmer to abattoir; a sustainable practice which reduces their carbon footprint. Michael has over 50 years’ experience in the butchery trade and it is our privilege to honour him.”
Highly Commended: Quintessential Meats, Bracknell, Berkshire, www.quintessentialmeats.co.uk/ 01344 893457

 

Start-Up Category
Etchingham Shop & Deli, High Street, Etchingham, East Sussex, 01580 819442

“The grand opening of the new Etchingham Shop & Deli was on 31 May 2012 – just in time for the Jubilee weekend celebrations. A true community initiative, the Shop was created by the Community Interest Company working with the Parish Council to bring the business into being. Local people were consulted so that their needs could be met by this exciting new shop which stocks a dizzying array of local produce, does “Take Out Thursday”, has a kiddies’ corner for sweets and small toys, sells firewood, newspapers and offers dry cleaning services (working in collaboration with a local dry cleaning business). This shop has breathed new life into the community. It is especially difficult to open a shop in a community that has lost one, as in this case, so we are delighted to see this enthusiastic role model for villages everywhere.”
Highly Commended: Blackberry Cottage Fayre, Ashampstead, Reading, Berkshire, www.blackberrycottagefayre.co.uk/ 01635 579730