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CPRE Sussex 2014 Countryside Awards: The Winners!

Saturday, 18 October 2014 06:27

Friday 17 October 2014

Last night, the winners in this year’s Campaign to Protect Rural England (Sussex) Countryside Awards were revealed at a prestigious ceremony at Firle Place, Lewes, courtesy of Lord and Lady Gage.

The evening was a celebration of the Sussex countryside and the projects that create opportunity, enhance cherished landscapes through innovation and tackle pressing environmental issues across the county.

CPRE Sussex Chair David Johnson said:

“An Awards ceremony is a celebration and therefore not an occasion for detailing the many challenges to our countryside ranging from threatened widening of the nearby A27, to new market towns and building on our flood plains. We are tonight celebrating very positive contributions to a Sussex landscape that has been changing for so many years.”

A panel of distinguished judges [Left, pictured with Lord Gage] , chaired by Lady Caroline Egremont of Petworth House considered the entries. Nick Gant, University of Brighton lead on sustainable design and Assistant Head of School for Research, Economic and Social Engagement, Sir Charles Burrell of Knepp Castle and Miss Margaret Moore, Vice President of CPRE Sussex, completed the Panel.

Lady Egremont added: “It has been a privilege to be asked to judge such a fine group of entries which are committed to enhancing the Sussex landscape and helping its communities in so many new, exciting and enterprising ways.”

Sir Charles Burrell, said: “It’s been a thrilling experience being on the Judging panel of the CPRE awards 2014. You get to see and understand so many different and diverse projects in our region, it’s amazing and encouraging what is going on out there.”

Ten awards were presented in total across three categories, New Sussex Landscape, Sussex Rural Enterprise and Field to Table. Prizes were given as either a Full Award, or a Highly Commended level.

In the New Sussex Landscape category Ashplats Wood, Oldland Mill and Ditchling Museum of Art & Craft were all presented with Full Awards, while Sussex Prairie Garden received a Highly Commended Award.

Oldland Mill also received the Peter Brandon Award in memory of CPRE Sussex’s past Chairman, which was presented at the judges’ discretion to the project they deemed to be the most outstanding.

Stuart Meier, Chairman of the Oldland Mill Trust, said: “This project has come together through the work of volunteers over several generations and is now a tremendous landmark in Sussex – a huge credit to all those involved.”

In the Sussex Rural Enterprise category, the judges gave Full Awards to Ringmer Community College & Sixth Form and Slindon Forge, with the Woodland Flora & Fauna Group and The Grove Café & Village Shop [Above, with Lady Egremont] both being Highly Commended.

The judges were impressed by the Year 10 & 11 students at Ringmer Community College, who presented and spoke enthusiastically and confidently about their work on sustainability and environmental issues.

Margaret Moore said of their judging visit: “The students’ enthusiasm was almost overwhelming, and certainly inspiring – these students could teach us all a lesson or two.”

Lastly, but by no means least, The Sussex Produce Company was Awarded a Full Award in the Field to Table category.

Nick Hempleman, owner of The Sussex Produce Company, said: “Thank-you for this award – it is tremendously well deserved, not for us, but for our customers who support us; which enables us to support local producers and suppliers and to employ local people too.”

Claire Lloyd, CPRE Sussex Countryside Awards Project Manager, said: “We have been lucky enough to meet some very enterprising and inspiring groups and individuals across Sussex, and we were happy to be able to share their success with so many people at our Awards ceremony.

“My eyes have been opened to all the hard work being done across Sussex to restore countryside icons, buildings and nature, to teach others about the beauty of nature and conservation, and to promote the fantastic produce being grown and consumed locally.”

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