Countryside business heroes encouraged to enter CPRE Hampshire awards

The 2013 CPRE Hampshire Countryside Awards are open to businesses and organisations around the county. The prestigious award scheme is run by the Campaign to Protect Rural England (Hampshire) and nature-friendly farmers, Steve's Leaves and has three categories: Youth, Rural Enterprise and Community/Voluntary. It is run with the support of Hampshire Fare and Hampshire Ambassadors.

In 2011, the Rural Enterprise award category, itself supported by SmithsGore land agents, was won by Hampshire Cheeses, producer of the Tunworth soft cheese, an outstanding local business that continues to go from strength to strength. In 2012 a supplier to the Olympic opening ceremony, Wildflower Turf Ltd, took home the well-deserved award.

Mike Rushworth, managing director of Steve's Leaves said: 'We have seen many inspiring and worthy entries from a diverse range of businesses and we are sure that there are more unsung 'countryside heroes' around the county. It is becoming more and more important that Hampshire businesses aim to be sustainable as well as profitable, supporting a better quality of life for people living and working in the county.'

Chris Jowett of Smiths Gore in Winchester comments: 'We are delighted to support the Rural Enterprise section again this year. The CPRE Hampshire Countryside Award scheme offers a chance to showcase your projects to other businessmen and women concerned about the environment, sharing best practice through media coverage and face-to-face at a lively awards ceremony in September.'

The Southern Co-operative (TSC) is sponsoring the Community and Voluntary category for the first time in 2013. Ted Merdler, TSC's Head of Brand Engagement and Communications, explained: 'The well-being of the communities in which we trade is at the heart of The Southern Co-operative's business ethos, which is why we actively support many environmental, economic and social sustainability projects. This category reflects our recognition of the valuable role that community and voluntary organisations play here in Hampshire.'

Entries from businesses and organisations to the Rural Enterprise category can be to do with team-building projects, sustainable buildings, low-carbon initiatives, sustainable business models, local food and drink; in fact anything that helps our county's rural sustainability, nature and the land.

Entry deadline is 19th July 2013. For details, please visit, or telephone 01962 779185

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