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Awards recognise the best of the New Forest

Awards recognise the best of the New Forest

PUBLISHED ON: 1 AUGUST 2019

Passion for local produce, contributions to the commoning community and young environmental champions inspiring others about the New Forest were the recipe for success at this year’s New Forest National Park Authority and CLA awards.

The awards recognise the best of the New Forest’s rural businesses, organisations, land managers and champions and were presented at a special ceremony at the New Forest and Hampshire County Show. The prizes were handed over by National Parks Minister Lord Gardiner.

The winners of the 2019 awards were:

  • Young Farmer/Commoner of the Year – Daisy Slocombe
  • Best Supporter of Local Produce – Pilley Community Shop
  • Sustainability Champion – Kathy Sirl, The Naked Pantry
  • Young Environmental Champion – Dominik Reynolds
  • Rural Diversification – Stephen and Wendy Maughan
  • Land Management – Kevin and Fiona Gover

Daisy Slocombe won Young Farmer/Commoner of the Year for her incredible work alongside the Commoners Defence Association. Daisy is the youngest member of the CDA committee at 19 years of age and sits on the Young Commoners committee. She is highly valued by other commoners and has put a huge effort into commoning over the past year, producing newsletters for all the Young Commoners to stay up to date. Daisy also takes part in every drift with the Agisters and goes into local schools with fellow local commoner Lyndsey Stride to educate children about the Forest.

This year’s Best Supporter of Local Produce was Pilley Community Shop. Pilley Community Shop has supported New Forest Marque products since its opening, including Beaulieu Chocolate, Goodall Strawberries, Hatchett Beef, Spout House Cakes and a small range of books by eight local authors. Caroline Darke manages the shop with help from local volunteers in the community.

The 2019 Sustainability Champion was Kathy Sirl, recognised for establishing The Naked Pantry in New Milton to help reduce the amount of single-use plastic used in the National Park. The Naked Pantry offers food and drink, skin care and beauty products, household and cleaning products, and has its own plant milk and nut butter processing machine. It also has a water refilling station and provides a place for products that are difficult to recycle to be collected, including crisp packets and toothpaste tubes.

New to 2019, the Young Environmental Champion award celebrates the achievements of young people under 25 years of age who are working to help protect the National Park and its wildlife. The award was won by 19-year-old Dominik Reynolds from Totton, who has been volunteering in the National Park since he was nine years old and thrives on learning, making a difference, and educating and enthusing others.

The winners of the Land Management award were Fiona and Kevin Gover, who have a small holding near Ringwood and have been bringing it up to modern standards for their small herd of cattle.

They have improved the land, put in appropriate housing and storage for the cattle and a few ponies, and have generally created a ‘traditional’ yet ‘modern day’ holding.

The winners of the Rural Diversification category were Stephen and Wendy Maughan, for their farm diversification project ‘Forest Meats @ Manor Farm’ in Bramshaw.

They have recently set up a cutting room and chiller unit at their farm, Manor Farm, with the help of a Rural Development Programme for England (RDPE) Leader grant. The couple are helping other farmers and commoners by storing and cutting their animals once back from the abattoir. It was this provision of a local facility for others to use which impressed the CLA judges.

Alison Barnes, Chief Executive of the New Forest National Park Authority, said: ‘Incredibly, it is now our seventh year running these awards with the CLA and they have become a shining example of partnership working. It is now more important than ever to work with our partners across the country to secure funding and resources to ensure the New Forest continues to thrive for future generations.

‘I am delighted to see the new Young Environmental Champion category added this year to recognise how hard young people are working to protect and connect with nature. The inspiration of young people is arguably the most important thing that we can support to ensure the Forest is in safe hands for the future. This new category is in recognition of the 70th anniversary of National Parks, which is being marked nationwide through a Year of Green Action.’

CLA Interim Regional Director Tim Bamford said: ‘We had many excellent entries this year and all our winners are very deserving of their awards. While they may work in different roles and businesses, they all share real dedication and passion for what they do, and rural life in the New Forest is thriving because of people like them. Congratulations to them all.’

This year’s highly commended were:

  • Young Commoner of the Year highly commended – Ben Dolbear, Erika Dovey, Martyn Meaker
  • Best Supporter of Local Produce highly commended – Anissa’s Thai Kitchen and New Forest Hampers
  • Sustainability Champion highly commended – Darren Dawe
  • Rural Diversification – Kate Collison, New Forest Tartan
  • Young Environmental Champion highly commended – Julian Pothecary.

The awards are sponsored by Moore Blatch and supported by the New Forest Agricultural Show Society.

CLA South East represents landowners, farmers and rural businesses across the New Forest and Hampshire.

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Notes to Photo Editor:

Winners of the 2019 New Forest Awards.

Winners quotes

Daisy Slocombe, winner of the 2019 Young Farmer/Commoner of the Year said: ‘I’m so pleased to have won this award. I think it’s so great that young commoners like myself, and young farmers are being recognised. Without the encouragement and support from fellow commoners, such as Mike Lovell and Lyndsey Stride I would not have achieved what I have today. I think it is so important to support any young commoner, whether they have two or 20 animals on the Forest. I hope my winning encourages other young commoners to do that little bit extra for their commoning community.’

Caroline Darke manages Pilley Community Shop, which won best Supporter of Local Produce. She said: ‘We are absolutely delighted to have won this year’s Best Supporter of Local Produce. We are very proud of our shop and all the staff who make this venture possible. Our customers really appreciate and support the local produce we stock and looking to the future our aim is to continue to source local produce, New Forest Marque where possible, and to reduce the use of plastic in the shop.’

The 2019 Sustainability Champion went to The Naked Pantry. Owner Kathy said: ‘I was so shocked to have won and am so proud of my team for everything they do. We work to offer plastic-free solutions to our customers in an easy way and help them make informed choices through our social media channels. I’m so pleased that people recognise our efforts to help protect our environment and we will continue to work hard to help others do their bit. To make a difference you not only need to embrace this ethos, you need to live the whole thing.’

The new Young Environmental Champion award went to Dominik Reynolds. Dominik said: ‘I was absolutely thrilled to hear that I won the award! I love volunteering in the New Forest and helping others understand what an amazing and special place the National Park is. It’s really important that young people understand how important it is to protect nature and it’s great to see young people being recognised for our work.’

Winners of the CLA land management award were Fiona and Kevin Gover. Fiona said: ‘I’m completely gobsmacked to win, and very pleased to be recognised. We love what we do.’

The 2019 Rural Diversification winners were Stephen and Wendy Maughan at Manor Farm in Bramshaw. Wendy said: ‘We are absolutely delighted to receive such a prestigious accolade from the CLA and New Forest National Park Authority. This prestigious award greatly enhances knowledge of our Forest-reared stock and our newly developed outlet ‘Forest Meats @ Manor Farm’ – an award only surpassed by those who come across our native breeds happily grazing the Open Forest around Bramshaw.’

Notes to Editor:

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

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 more than 30,000 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 http://www.cla.org.uk/your-area/south-east or follow us on Twitter: @CLASouthEast

Media Contacts

For further information or interviews, please contact:

New Forest National Park Authority: Beki Mole, Communications Assistant, 01590 646639 or beki.mole@newforestnpa.gov.uk

CLA: Mike Sims, Communications Manager South East, 01264 313434 / 07702 926916 or mike.sims@cla.org.uk

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