Ringwood School celebrates harvest with the stars

duchess of cornwall harvest festival

Published Thursday 24 October 2013

Celebrities from TV and film joined Her Royal Highness The Duchess of Cornwall for a harvest festival celebration, with a little help from pupils at Ringwood School and the New Forest Marque.

The event at Westminster Abbey on 16 October was organised by Love British Food as part of British Food Fortnight.

Ringwood earned its place at the service, the first harvest festival service to be held in the Abbey since 1966, after taking part in the ‘Harvest Lottery for Schools’, a competition requiring schools to fill a box with their best local produce and send in a photo or video for judging.

The New Forest Marque helped pupils put together a produce box and the hamper for the harvest celebration itself. The Marque is a quality assurance scheme supported by the National Park Authority and promotes authentic New Forest fare of the highest quality, while encouraging people to shop locally.

The Marque supported the 16 Ringwood pupils as they took part in the growing and cooking of food for the hamper. To create their hamper the youngsters used local ingredients from a variety of New Forest producers, including New Forest Smokery and Trout Farm and The Pig Hotel, Brockenhurst, as well as produce grown at the school itself.

The wicker hamper was specially made for the festival and featured goats cheese tarts, bramble loaf cake and hedgerow jam, as well as many other tasty treats and a traditional harvest loaf. Ringwood’s hamper drew glowing praise from the Duchess of Cornwall, and contributed to a very successful event.

Ringwood Pupils Lily Haradine and Georgia Akroyd said: ‘We were really proud of our Harvest hamper and it looked great among all the other entries.  

‘We got to meet Martin Clunes, Gregg Wallace, Phil Vickery and Dave Myers, which was brilliant fun.  We also talked to The Duchess of Cornwall, who said we had ‘done a very good job’ and the hamper ‘looked delicious’!’

New Forest Marque Project Officer Jenna Bessant said: ‘The atmosphere in Westminster Abbey was incredible and to attend a service that is dedicated to food and farming was truly inspirational.  

‘That we could help these pupils to experience this unique harvest festival and showcase the local produce from the New Forest in this way makes us very proud.  

'Love British Food did a fantastic job in arranging this wonderful celebration and the fact that the produce was donated to the Royal Voluntary Service underlines the true meaning of the harvest festival.’

For more information on why you should support local producers, visit www.newforestmarque.co.uk or www.lovebritishfood.co.uk

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Notes to photo editors:

Her Royal Highness The Duchess of Cornwall meets pupils and teachers from Ringwood School at Westminster Abbey.

Picture courtesy of Love British Food / Westminster Abbey.

Notes to Editors:

About the New Forest Marque® – a sign of quality

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 www.newforestmarque.co.uk.

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.

Visit www.newforestnpa.gov.uk to find out more.

Media Contact:
Matt Stroud, Communications Assistant, New Forest National Park Authority
Tel: 01590 646650
Email: matt.stroud@newforestnpa.gov.uk

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