The New Forest National Park Authority and Country Land and Business Association (CLA) have launched their annual awards to celebrate rural successes and achievements in the New Forest.
Nominations are now open for the 10th New Forest Awards, which are supported by Moore Barlow and the New Forest Agricultural Show Society.
The awards celebrate the best local food and drink producers, young environmental champions, diversified rural businesses, farming and nature champions, young farmers and commoners, and sustainability champions who support the New Forest’s landscape and economy.
The award for Best Supporter of Local Produce is in conjunction with the New Forest Marque and aims to celebrate those who produce, sell or champion local produce.
Individuals, businesses and organisations can nominate themselves or be nominated by others, but must be living, working or practising within the New Forest Awards area (see map here). Nominations close on 31 May 2023 with application forms available at www.newforestnpa.gov.uk/newforestawards.
Alison Barnes, Chief Executive of the New Forest National Park Authority, said: ‘The Forest is a living, working landscape and can only survive thanks to thousands of dedicated people joining together as a “Team New Forest”. We’re fortunate to have many exceptional people who go above and beyond to sustain our landscape and unique way of life. The New Forest awards reflect these outstanding contributions to the environment, rural economy and our communities.
‘We’re thrilled to be marking our 10th year of celebrating our New Forest champions and are hoping for a large number of entries again this year.’
Tim Bamford, Regional Director of CLA South East, which represents landowners, farmers and rural businesses said: ‘The CLA is delighted that this is the 10th year of these fantastic awards, as they highlight the hugely important role played by farmers and other rural businesses in managing the landscape and helping our communities prosper in the New Forest area.
‘We’re proud to be supporting the awards once again this year to honour even more rural success stories, and we look forward to crowning the winners at the show in July.’
Nominations are invited for the following categories:
- Young Farmer/Commoner of the Year (aged 35 and under)
- Best Supporter of Local Produce (in conjunction with the New Forest Marque)
- Sustainability Champion
- Young Environmental Champion (aged 25 and under)
- Rural Diversification
- Farming and Nature Champion.
The winners will be crowned at a ceremony and drinks reception at the New Forest and Hampshire County Show on 26 July.
For full details of criteria and how to apply, visit www.newforestnpa.gov.uk/newforestawards.