Rural successes and achievements will be celebrated later this year, as the CLA and New Forest National Park Authority are teaming up again for their annual awards.
Nominations are now open for the eighth annual awards, which are supported by Moore Blatch and the New Forest Agricultural Show Society.
Although the New Forest and Hampshire County Show has been cancelled, the awards will still be presented later this year.
Last year’s new category, the Young Environmentalist award, will return and is open to those aged 25 and under.
The other categories are:
- Best Supporter of Local Produce
- Sustainability Champion
- Rural Diversification
- Young Farmer/Commoner of the Year (aged 40 and under)
- Land Management.
Individuals, businesses and organisations can nominate themselves or be nominated by others, but must be living, working or practising within the New Forest Marque area (map here). Nominations close on May 24, with application forms available on the New Forest National Park Authority website at www.newforestnpa.gov.uk/newforestawards.
CLA South East represents farmers, landowners and rural businesses across the Forest, Hampshire and beyond. Regional Director Michael Valenzia said: "We are incredibly proud to be part of these awards, which are now in their eighth year and really going from strength to strength.
“Farmers, commoners and other rural businesses play a hugely important role in managing the landscape and helping our communities prosper in the New Forest and across Hampshire.
“We’re delighted that the awards are returning this year to honour even more rural success stories, and we look forward to crowning the winners later this year.”
New Forest National Park Authority Chief Executive Alison Barnes said: “It’s a real pleasure to be teaming up with the CLA again to reward local people who are helping to safeguard our National Park.
“A living, working forest relies on great partnerships, particularly in the face of the climate and nature emergencies. Our awards recognise those who are ensuring the Forest continues to thrive and is fit for the future, through their work in areas such as land management, commoning, rural diversification or supporting local produce.
“We look forward to receiving nominations for people whose dedication to a sustainable Forest really shines through. It’s wonderful to show our appreciation of them through these awards.”
The winners in 2019 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 Environmentalist – Dominik Reynolds
- Rural Diversification – Stephen and Wendy Maughan
- Land Management – Kevin and Fiona Gover.
Picture: The winners at the 2019 New Forest and Hampshire County Show.