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Grass e-route - 8th March

Welcome to the grass e-route for 8th March 2012. We are still basking in the glow of a successful Parliamentary reception for the Countryside Alliance Awards and are delighted to introduce you to the UK & Ireland Champions of 2011. 

   

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Rural Oscars - results and a film

I thoroughly enjoyed the winners' reception of the Countryside Alliance Awards, nicknamed the "Rural Oscars", at Parliament yesterday. The terrace room of the House of Lords was packed with regional champions from across England, Ireland, Scotland and Wales, all celebrating their titles and keen to know if they were about to take the UK & Ireland Champion title too.
 
Countryside Alliance Chairman Kate Hoey MP announced the UK & Ireland Champions across five categories and our film crew was there to capture the action. You can watch a short film here
 
Congratulations to everyone who has been involved in the 2011 Awards, you have helped to make them a true celebration of our countryside, with positive media coverage to match. The fact that we had two Defra representatives on hand to help present the prizes is a testament to how prestigious and important the Awards have become in their seven years of existence. 
Defra Minister Richard Benyon MP said the day was "a great celebration of the best of British rural life. The winners of these awards have really made a difference to their local community either through boosting local businesses, protecting the natural environment or supporting a thriving rural community. It’s been a privilege to share their success with them.” 
Mr Benyon and Lord Taylor of Holbeach were fulsome in their support and congratulations to our champions which is praise indeed. I am extremely proud to introduce to you the UK & Ireland Champions of 2011.
 
Barney White-Spunner
Executive Chairman
 
Local Food UK & Ireland Champions
Suffolk Food Hall, Wherstead, Ipswich, Suffolk 01473 786610. Countryside Alliance members will receive a special 10% discount at the Suffolk Food Hall's on-line shop for the month of March. http://www.suffolkfoodhall.co.uk/shop (free delivery over £50, £5 delivery under £50). Enter Coupon code ‘ CAawards ‘
Highly Commended: Foxbury Farm Shop, Brize Norton, Oxfordshire 01993 867385 www.foxburyfarm.co.uk
 
 
 
(Pictured are Suffolk Food Hall butcher Gerard King, Clarissa Dickson Wright, Lord Taylor of Holbeach and Oliver Paul of Suffolk Food Hall)

Daily Telegraph Village Shop/ Post Office UK & Ireland Champions
Ludwell Stores and PO, Ludwell, Shaftesbury, Dorset, 01747 828227 http://ludwellstores.co.uk
Highly Commended: Humshaugh Village Shop, Humshaugh, Hexham, Northumberland 01434 681258 www.humshaughshop.co.uk/
  
 
(Pictured are Defra Minister Richard Benyon, Jo & Phil James of Ludwell Stores and Philip Johnston of the Daily Telegraph)

Rural Enterprise UK & Ireland Champions
Park Hill Farm, Hales, Market Drayton, Shropshire 01630 652178 www.parkhillfarm.co.uk
Highly Commended: The Cholmeley Arms, Burton-le-Coggles, Grantham, Lincolnshire, 01476 550 225 www.thecholmeleyarms.co.uk
 
(Pictured are Defra Minister Richard Benyon MP, John and Pat Pimlott of Park Hill Farm and Chris Dewbury of Hunter Boot)
 
Butcher Award
Nolan’s of Kilcullen, Kilcullen, Co. Kildare 045 481229 http://nolansofkilcullen.com
Highly Commended: Vicars Game, Ashampstead, Newbury, Berkshire 01635 579662 www.vicarsgame.co.uk/
 
 
(Pictured are Defra Minister Richard Benyon MP, James and Emma Nolan of Nolan's of Kilcullen and Clarissa Dickson Wright)

Special Award: Rural Hero of 2011
Michael Patrick Martin, Mallusk, Co. Antrim www.sixmilewatertrust.co.uk/ for setting up the Six Mile Water Trust to help combat pollution, promote conservation of Northern Ireland's waterways and educate the next generation as to their importance.
 
(Pictured are Defra Minister Richard Benyon MP, Rural Hero Michael Patrick Martin and Kate Hoey MP, who like Michael is from Co. Antrim)




 


CA fuel report proves a media hit

Research released by the Countryside Alliance last week shows that the cost of diesel at rural filling stations is over 4p more per litre than diesel at stations in urban areas. 

Higher prices at rural filling stations, coupled with longer distances between home, work and essential services, means cars are becoming an ‘unaffordable necessity’ for many living in rural communities. As the debate over fuel duty gets heated in the run-up to this year’s budget, the Countryside Alliance has urged the Chancellor to tackle the rising cost of fuel in the budget for the good of the rural economy. You may have seen, heard or read some of the extensive coverage of this story on Sky News, the BBC and in many national and regional media print and broadcast outlets such as the Yorkshire Post, BBC Radio Newcastle, the Western Morning News and Radio Five Live.

Key Findings
  • Drivers filling up at stations in rural areas will, on average, pay over 4 pence more for the cheapest litre of diesel compared with the cheapest in urban areas.
  • Those living in Purbeck and Ryedale fare worst, with 146.9p for a litre of diesel being the lowest price in their area. City dwellers are far more fortunate, with drivers from North Tyneside, to Birmingham, to Dartford benefiting from a pump price of 139.7p. That’s a difference of 7.2p per litre. (All prices are from PetrolPrices.com)
  • Despite people who live and work in rural areas having to cover much greater distances in their cars, smaller demand and less competition have led to a higher price of diesel, with serious and detrimental effects on the rural economy.
Not only do people living in rural areas have to drive further to go to work, further to access essential services like schools, doctors and the supermarket; but they have to pay a lot more for their diesel to do so. The cost of fuel is a major concern for everyone who lives in the countryside, and cars are fast becoming an unaffordable necessity for many rural families. We urge the Chancellor to help the rural economy get back on its feet and to cut fuel duty in his forthcoming budget.
You can view the figures online here. Figures are all courtesy of www.PetrolPrices.com




 


Event of the Week - Cheltenham Festival

The Cheltenham Festivalis almost upon us (13th-16th March), and to mark it the Countryside Alliance is delighted to team up with The Really Wild Clothing Company for a special membership offer.
Upon presentation of your Membership badge, The Really Wild Clothing Company is delighted to offer Countryside Alliance Members 15% off all purchases made on its stand at the Cheltenham Festival only. The Really Wild Clothing Company will be found outside the tented village at the end of the Horse Walk. To view the full collection, please visit the website www.reallywildclothing.co.uk




 


Point-to-Point meetings this weekend

 Saturday 10th March:

· KINGSTON BLOUNT RACING CLUB at Kingston Blount (Oxon)
First race 1.00pm
Admission Price: £25, £20 (on course) and £15 (off course) car parks, £5 reduction for single occupancy

· NEW FOREST at Larkhill (Wiltshire)
First race: 12.30pm
Admission Price: not supplied by meeting

Sunday 11th March:
· BLACKMORE & SPARKFORD VALE at Charlton Horethorn (Somerset)
First race: 12.30pm
Admission Price: £25 per car, single occupant discount

· COLLEGE VALLEY & NORTH NORTHUMBERLAND at Alnwick (Northumberland)
First race: 12.30pm
Admission Price: £10 per person (includes free race card)

· DULVERTON FARMERS at Treborough Hill (Somerset)
First race: 12.30pm
Admission Price: not supplied by meeting

· HOLDERNESS at Dalton Park (East Yorkshire)
First race: 1.30pm
Admission Price: not supplied by meeting

· MID SURREY FARMERS DRAG at Godstone (Surrey)
First race: 1.00pm
Admission Price: £10 per person, under 16s free

· SIR W W WYNN’S at Bangor-on-Dee (Clywd)
First race: 12noon
Admission Price: £25 per car & passenger, £15 single occupancy, £8 pedestrians

· SUFFOLK at Ampton (Suffolk)
First race: 1.30pm
Admission Price: £10 per person, under 16s free

· TIVYSIDE at Cilwendge (Pembrokeshire)
First race: 12 noon
Admission Price: £10 per car & driver, £5 each additional passenger
 




 


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