Awards recognise outstanding contributions to the New Forest

Presented at the New Forest Show

Published Wednesday 27 July 2016

Outstanding contributions to the New Forest landscape and rural economy have been awarded at the 2016 CLA and New Forest National Park Authority Awards.

The awards celebrate the achievements of local people and businesses that help ensure the New Forest continues to be a living, working forest through their work in commoning, support for local produce, contribution to sustainability and rural diversification.

The winners were presented with their trophies at the New Forest and Hampshire County Show by Her Royal Highness The Countess of Wessex, President of the New Forest Agricultural Society.

The winners of the 2016 awards are:

  • Young Farmer/Commoner of the Year – Julian Pothecary
  • Best Supporter of Local Produce – Appetite for Adventure
  • Sustainability Champion – Gill Hickman
  • Rural Diversification – New Forest Quality Feeds.

Julian Pothecary was chosen as Young Farmer/Commoner of the Year for his one hundred per cent commitment to being a commoner, the courses he has taken, the skills he has built up and his obvious love of his stock. The judges said he embodies the new generation of hard working and selfless commoners.

Outdoor catering company, Appetite for Adventure, won the award for Best Supporter of Local Produce for their recognition of the importance of supporting small local producers and going out of their way to champion them to their customers. The company staff are also excellent ambassadors for the New Forest.

The 2016 Sustainability Champion, Gill Hickman’s enthusiasm for encouraging sustainability among younger generations in the New Forest is infectious. The judges said she should be congratulated for the range of projects and initiatives she is involved in, including energy saving, travel and climate change.

The Rural Diversification award was presented to Arthur and Matt Rolf from New Forest Quality Feeds, recognising the success with which they have diversified from producing feed solely for their own dairy herd to producing top quality haylage for the local equine market.

Highly Commended certificates were also presented to four finalists:

  • Oliver Cook (Young Farmer/Commoner)
  • The Maples B&B and Spice ‘n’ Easy (Best Supporter of Local Produce)
  • Cathy Cook (Sustainability).

New Forest National Park Authority Chief Executive, Alison Barnes, said: ‘Our award winners don’t work in the Forest in the hope of recognition, but because this place is special to them. These awards are our gesture of appreciation for the selfless efforts of these local people and the contribution they make to the National Park.

'It’s been a pleasure to work with the CLA again this year to reward people whose enterprises contribute to the living, working Forest.'

Robin Edwards, South East Regional Director at the CLA, which represents landowners, farmers and rural businesses, said: 'The past few weeks have seen the rural economy and the country as a whole enter a new chapter. As we prepare for a new era outside the EU, there are challenges and new opportunities ahead for how food is produced, how the environment is cared for and how the countryside is managed for future generations. The CLA is committed to speaking up for the interests of rural communities and supporting the development of a diverse and sustainable rural economy, exemplified by our award winners and finalists here in the New Forest.'

The awards were sponsored by Blake Morgan and kindly supported by the New Forest and Hampshire Show Society.


Media Contacts:
Matt Stroud, Communications Officer, New Forest National Park Authority
Tel: 01590 646650

Helen Symes, Communications Manager, CLA South East
Tel: 01264 313434

Notes to photo editors:

Left to right: Robin Edwards, CLA South East; Arthur Rolfe, New Forest Quality Feeds (Rural Diversification); Adie Callaghan, Charlie Plevey-Callaghan and Jason Plevey, Appetite for Adventure (Best Supporter of Local Produce); Gill Hickman (Sustainability Champion); Julian Pothecary (Young Farmer/Commoner of the Year); Alison Barnes, New Forest National Park Authority Chief Executive.

Notes to editors:

About the CLA

1.     CLA South East covers the counties of Berkshire, Buckinghamshire, Hampshire, Isle of Wight, Kent, Oxfordshire, Surrey, East & West Sussex

2.    The CLA has around 32,000 members

3.    As a membership organisation, the CLA supports landowners by advising them on how best to protect and maximise their asset: the land. We are dedicated to supporting landowners and their businesses. Our success is measured by how effectively we do that. We have a team of experts in London and a regional structure able to give local support.

4.    We have been looking after the interests of our members, as well as promoting the positive aspects of land ownership, land management and rural business activities for the past 100 years. CLA members own or manage approximately half the rural land in England and Wales, and the resulting expertise puts us in a unique position to formulate policies and lobby effectively.

5.    For news and more information on our events, campaigns, lobbying and advice see the regional pages on our website or follow us on Twitter: @CLASouthEast

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 to find out more.

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