Winners of New Forest Awards scheme announced

01 August 2014

The victors have been announced in an awards scheme that recognises those who make an exceptional contribution to maintaining the unique landscape and way of life of the New Forest.

The 2014 CLA and New Forest National Park Authority Awards received dozens of nominations across its four categories, with the following winners chosen from high calibre shortlists:

  • Lyndsey Stride (Young Farmer/Commoner of the Year)
  • Catherine Shutler, owner of Cyril’s Soap Shed (Best Supporter of Local Produce)
  • Margaret Richens, Milford on Sea Community Centre (Sustainability Champion)
  • Wendy Perring on behalf of Warborne Farm (Agricultural Building Design).

Each person was presented with their award by Visit England Chief Executive James Berresford in the main show ring at the 2014 New Forest Show on 30 July. Lyndsey Stride received a cast iron wren trophy. The remaining winners were presented with bespoke wooden awards crafted by Eric Gibbons, a woodturner based in Boldre, near Lymington.

The successful candidates went through a thorough selection process, culminating in a personal visit from a judging panel consisting of local leaders and experts. Judges included Denis Dooley, New Forest Show Secretary, Georgina Windsor, BBC Radio Solent presenter, and Phil Marshall, Broadlands Estate Landscape Manager.

The judges felt Young Farmer/Commoner of the Year Lyndsey Stride shone out for her vision for the future of commoning among younger generations, and clearly provided inspirational leadership of the Young Commoners group.  The judges also commended Lyndsey’s husband Robert for his work in the commoning community and the considerable support he provides to Lyndsey.

Lyndsey said: ‘The Young Commoners group aims to inspire the next generation to keep the ancient tradition of commoning in the New Forest alive. Running the group takes plenty of hard work, so to have this recognised by the award is a genuine honour.’

New Forest National Park Authority Chairman Oliver Crosthwaite-Eyre said: ‘It is important that we recognise those who go the extra mile to contribute positively towards maintaining the unique characteristics of the Forest.

‘I congratulate all of those who were shortlisted for these awards, and in particular the winning candidates, each of whom thoroughly deserves the recognition they have received.’

Robin Edwards, CLA Director South East, said: ‘Each of the award winners is a shining example of excellence, and is making an outstanding contribution to the New Forest rural community, environment or landscape.

‘Rural businesses and land managers play a critical role in protecting and enhancing the countryside and the rural economy. Through these awards we recognise and celebrate the winners’ achievements, and we thank them for their commitment to maintaining the unique characteristics of the New Forest.’

The awards were kindly sponsored by Pitmans.


Shortlisted candidates

Young Farmer/Commoner:

  • Pete Niccolls
  • Philip Stride
  • Robert Stride
  • Lyndsey Stride.

Best Supporter of Local Produce

  • Christian Rivron, The Granary Kitchen
  • Wayne Smith, Longdown Farm Shop
  • Pete Niccolls, Hatchett Herd of Dexters
  • Catherine Shutler, Cyril’s Soap Shed.

Sustainability Champion

  • Barbara Smith, New Forest Heathland Management Project
  • Vivien Drake, Calshot Nature Club
  • Christina Simons, Cottage Lodge Hotel
  • Margaret Richens, Milford on Sea Community Centre.

Agricultural Building Design

  • Wendy Perring, Warborne Farm