National award for New Forest pub

Published Tuesday 4 September 2012

The New Forest Marque is celebrating today after one of its long-term members – The Royal Oak at Fritham – has been voted national ‘Country Pub of the Year’, by the Good Pub Guide.

Every year Guide editors select the very best pubs from across the country to win these prestigious awards. It is awarded to pubs that demonstrate excellence and which go that extra mile.

Neil McCulloch, owner of The Royal Oak, said: ‘This award reflects the hard work of our staff in making this pub a success. We feel that using locally brewed beers and New Forest Marque food gives our customers a better experience.

‘We use award-winning Lyburn cheese and tomatoes from AR Wills at Ower; both are only four miles from our kitchen door. We also use fresh dressed crab from S&J Shellfish in Lymington. Many of our customers are amazed at how local our produce really is.

‘In the long term we would like to rear our own New Forest Marque eggs, pork and beef and use them on our menu.’

Sarah Hunt, New Forest Marque Manager, said: ‘We are so pleased the Royal Oak has won; the quality of their food is second to none. They are great supporters of New Forest Marque produce and are proud to support local farmers and producers.’

The New Forest Marque is the only local audited scheme food scheme in the country. It ensures that the food is local and of a high quality. It supports businesses and helps reduce the environmental impact of transporting food long distances.


Notes to Editors:

About the New Forest Marque® – a sign of quality

New Forest Marque logo

Managed by the New Forest National Park Authority the award scheme was created by New Forest Produce Limited to:

  • give businesses a distinctive 'New Forest' banner under which to sell their goods and services and help customers identify quality New Forest produce
  • encourage people to ‘buy local’ and reduce the environmental impact of transporting food long distances
  • help sustain the New Forest’s local economy by supporting local businesses and employment.

For more information on the New Forest Marque and its members visit

About the New Forest National Park Authority

Protect - Enjoy - Prosper

The New Forest National Park Authority’s statutory purposes are to:

  • Conserve and enhance the natural beauty, wildlife and cultural heritage of the Park - Protect
  • Promote opportunities for understanding and enjoyment of its special qualities – Enjoy.

We also have a duty to:

  • Seek to foster the social and economic well-being of local communities within the Park – Prosper.

The New Forest National Park was designated in March 2005. Its unique landscape has been shaped over the centuries by grazing ponies, cattle and pigs which roam free. Majestic woodlands, rare heathland and a spectacular coastline provide fabulous opportunities for quiet recreation, enjoyment and discovery.

Media Contacts:
Karen Evans-McDaid, Communications Officer, New Forest National Park Authority
Tel: 01590 646650

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