The hunt is on to find the best rural businesses and environmental initiatives in the New Forest.
The New Forest National Park Authority has again joined forces with the CLA, which represents landowners, farmers and rural businesses, to launch their 2016 New Forest Awards.
The awards are aimed at recognising and rewarding the achievements of farmers/commoners, food and drink producers, rural businesses and volunteers who make a vital contribution to maintaining the National Park’s landscape and way of life.
Awards will be made across four categories: Young Farmer/Commoner, Best Supporter of Local Produce, Sustainability and Rural Diversification.
The winners in each category will be presented with a trophy at this summer’s awards ceremony, held at the New Forest Show on 27 July.
CLA South East Regional Director Robin Edwards comments: ‘Rural businesses manage our landscapes, provide homes, build communities and create jobs. They make a major contribution to the economy and environment of the New Forest and these awards are an excellent opportunity to celebrate their achievements.’
New Forest National Park Authority Chief Executive Alison Barnes says: ‘We are very pleased to be teaming up with the CLA once again to celebrate those at the heart of the living, working Forest. The winners of this award scheme are passionate about the Forest and play an enormous part in securing the unique landscape of the New Forest for the future – whether through commoning, local produce, promoting sustainability or rural diversification. Meeting them each summer is an inspiring experience.’
Nominations can be made by anybody online at www.newforestnpa.gov.uk/awards. Nominations for each category will also be made by specialist local organisations. The full criteria and rules can be viewed at www.newforestnpa.gov.uk/awardsinfo. To request a paper copy of the nomination form please contact the New Forest National Park Authority on 01590 646650.
The closing date for entries to the awards is Sunday 1 May 2016.