CPRE Hampshire launches Countryside Awards 2018

Submissions open until 31st May 2018

CPRE Hampshire has announced the launch of its Countryside Awards for 2018, with new incentives for businesses, groups and individuals to enter and champion the work they do standing up for the countryside that makes Hampshire so unique.

The Countryside Awards are designed to celebrate our beautiful, diverse and thriving countryside and all those who sustain it so that that everyone can value and enjoy it. The spirit of this can be found in a diverse range of projects, buildings, businesses, services and social enterprises – from large to grass roots level. To date over 100 projects have been recognised, since the inception of the awards 11 years ago.

The Countryside Awards – sponsored by Southern Co-op – are divided into four categories, each supported by its own sponsor.

NEW this year is ‘Hampshire’s Choice’. For the very first time, the public will be asked to vote, from all the finalists, who they think should win a cash sum of £500, giving potential applicants even more incentive to get their award submissions in.

Charlee Bennet, CPRE Hampshire CPRE comments: “Our awards showcase the very best of those who support our mission of ‘standing up for the countryside’.

“Respecting this countryside has never been as important as it is right now and as we grow our awards we want to seek out those who really deserve to win – whether they’re big organisations or individuals doing monumental things on their own. Each year we’re amazed by the incredible work taking place across the county and I can’t wait to see our 2018 applicants.

“This year is made all the more exciting by the new financial prize we’re offering through our Hampshire’s Choice award. The awards are now open, so we welcome everyone to get their submissions in!”

 The finalists will come from the following categories which are now open to enter at www.cprehampshire.org.uk/awards/

The Community & Voluntary

Supported by Southern Co-op (www.thesouthernco-operative.co.uk), this award is open to organisations, individuals and enterprises who have put the countryside at the forefront of a project or their organisations/ themselves.

This category is aimed at community and voluntary organisations and enterprises, including charitable projects and schemes run by parish councils, local interest or amenity groups. In the past judges have awarded organisations with a high level of community involvement, projects and schemes which encourage people to connect with the countryside, the prioritisation of environmental, conservation or restoration within the rural or urban environment and the elements of sustainability and education.

The Lead Judge is Gemma Lacey, Director Sustainability & Communications at The Southern Co-op

Young People

 This award is being supported by a new sponsor, Forest Holidays (www.forestholidays.co.uk) which has previously won a CPRE Countryside Award for its Blackwood Forest location. Forest Holidays will bring both a fresh approach as a new sponsor, alongside a level of shortlist and finalist expertise to the category which recognises projects involving young people up to the age of 18. This could include educational establishments (all levels), youth groups, scouts, guides, cubs, brownies and youth offender programmes.

Judges have previously looked at projects which engage with a large number and/or wide range of young people and the effectiveness in connecting them to the countryside.  Leaving a legacy – either through the project’s long-term sustainability or by producing information from which others can learn is also looked at favourably by judges. Providing accessibility for all children is key – including children with disabilities or a diverse range of young people.

The Lead Judge for this award is Katie Brothers, General Manager of Forest Holidays, Blackwood Forest.

Rural Enterprise

 This category benefits from the support of Hildon Natural Mineral Water (www.hildon.com) and is awarded to a business or council organisation which, through their work, either directly or indirectly enhance the rural environment and the rural economy. This category includes both ‘for profit’ and ‘not for profit’ enterprises.

Qualities the judges look for include community and stakeholder involvement, conservation of the countryside, projects which deal with recycling, climate change or sustainability, innovation, employment of local people/volunteer inclusion and the preservation of the tranquillity of the countryside.

The Lead Judge for this award is Hildon’s Executive Director, Debbie Jones.

Making Spaces

The final category has the support of Hastoe Group (www.hastoe.com) and recognises, amongst others, architects, developers, parish councils, housing associations and renewable energy companies that are positively contributing to the sustainability of the rural environment or communities. This can be either new or regenerated buildings or landscapes.

Judges look for well-designed or interesting schemes that exhibit elements that include conservation and enhancement of the site ecology/ biodiversity. Under this category, judges would also look at aspects including previously developed land or buildings, the renovation of existing buildings or tackling a challenging site location, materials or construction techniques which minimise the impact on the environment or are sourced locally. Other factors include those who are creating apprenticeship schemes or contribute towards maintaining local or rural employment skills, alongside the effective engagement of the community.

The Lead Judge for this award is Hastoe’s Land & New Business Manager, Karen Hillhouse

The awards are now open for submission between 1st March and 31st May 2018. Meetings with applicants are then conducted between June – August, with finalists then invited to the awards ceremony in September, where further networking opportunities are available for all.

Thanks to Hampshire Chamber of Commerce who are supporting CPRE Hampshire reach further into the  business community of the county.

For further details contact the CPRE Hampshire office on 01962 841897 or awards@cprehamsphire.org.uk