Thursday, 23 April 2015

Countryside Awards 2015 from CPRE Hampshire

Information for Entrants

About the Countryside Awards

The Countryside Awards are organised by the Hampshire branch of CPRE, the Campaign to Protect Rural England, the countryside conservation charity. The lead sponsor of the 2015 Countryside Awards is The Southern Co-operative.

Now in their 9th year, the Countryside Awards celebrate a beautiful, diverse and living countryside that everyone can value and enjoy. The spirit of this can be found in a project, product, building, business, service or social enterprise. More than 50 projects have been recognised by an award to date.

CPRE Hampshire welcome entries from all sections of the community; projects both big and small which support their mission of ‘standing up for the countryside’. These could involve volunteers, the community, young people and business representatives. The Awards categories are:

 Community and Voluntary
 Young People
 Rural Enterprise
 Green Buildings

How to enter

Read the category descriptions and the eligibility information below. To enter, complete the short entry form ( send it to CPRE Hampshire with some supporting photos. This year’s closing date for receipt of completed entries is 30th June 2015.

Community and Voluntary category, sponsored by The Southern Co-operative

This category is for community and voluntary organisations and enterprises, including charitable projects and schemes run by parish councils, local interest or amenity groups. It includes but is not limited to preservation or environmental initiatives and community involvement in neighhourhood planning or local transport. 

Qualities looked for include:

 A high level of community involvement, particularly of volunteers from a range of social backgrounds and/or age groups
 Projects and schemes which encourage a wide range of people to connect with the countryside, particularly those from urban areas
 Ability to show how the project helps to increase access to the countryside for those outside the local community, particularly those from urban areas
 The prioritisation of environmental, conservation or restoration within the rural or urban environment
 An appreciation of the inherent value of landscape
 Sustainability and ability to show how much difference the project will make to the local community in the future
 Involvement of the community in anti-litter/fly-tipping, recycling schemes, saving energy and reducing carbon footprints
 Educational elements

Young People category, sponsored by Steve’s Leaves

This category is for projects involving young people up to the age of 18 and could include but is not limited to schools, colleges, youth groups, scouts, guides, cubs and brownies and youth offender programmes. 

Qualities looked for include:

 Engaging a large number and/or wide range of young people, especially older children at secondary and college level
 High level of involvement by the young people concerned
 Effectiveness in connecting young people to the countryside and promotion of its value as a national resource for everyone to enjoy
 Fun factor
 Leaving a legacy - either through the project’s long-term sustainability or by producing information from which others can learn
 Access to all - especially concerning the disabled and involvement of children that would not normally have such an opportunity
 Use of landscape and environmental and rural issues as an opportunity for learning and linking to the curriculum (as appropriate), e.g. management of a wildlife area, recycling, the growing of food crops and the linkage to health, well-being and the environment
 Sensitivity to local ecology
 An awareness of sustainability issues

 Rural Enterprise category, sponsored by Dutton Gregory Solicitors

This category is for business or council organisations which, through their work, either directly or indirectly enhance the rural environment and the rural economy. 

Qualities to look for include:

 Community and stakeholder involvement
 Conservation of the countryside
 Innovation
 Employment of local people
 Promotion of countryside related crafts
 Promotion of local foods
 Businesses or organisations which enhance the nature of rural settlements
 Contribution to a thriving and sustainable countryside
 Projects which deal with recycling, climate change or sustainability
 Sustainable transport
 Reduction of light pollution
 Preservation of tranquillity
 Reduction of fly-tipping, litter or roadside clutter

Green Buildings category, sponsored by Radian

This category is for businesses and organisations including architects, developers, parish councils, housing associations and renewable energy companies. 

Qualities to look for include:

 Projects which show creative use of brownfield land and/or regeneration of existing buildings
 Conservation projects that respect the qualities of original fabric and design and/or local materials and distinctiveness
 Buildings that help people connect or reconnect with green spaces and/or the countryside
 Buildings which enhance the nature of rural settlements
 Projects that factor in density to maximise the use of available land
 Buildings that maximise the use of eco-technologies to help reduce carbon footprint(s)
 Employment of local people or craftsmen
 Community involvement
 Innovation

Eligibility, dates and judging

Projects must be within Hampshire and have been completed within three years of the closing date of entry, i.e. between July 2012 and July 2015.

CPRE Hampshire accept on-going projects but to make sure the awards remain relevant, the entry must relate to something new to the project that has not been running for longer than three years of the closing date of entry. Projects are entitled to re-enter but future entries must be materially different from the previous entry and consequently must represent a different stage of the overall project.

The judges will consider all entries received by 5pm on 30th June 2015. Please refer to the category list and the qualities CPRE Hampshire look for when completing the attached entry form. For a list of previous finalists please contact Nicola Revolta, Branch Development Officer.

The judging panel is appointed by CPRE Hampshire’s Executive Committee and supported by the lead sponsor, The Southern Co-operative and the sponsors of each individual category. The panel is authorised to make Awards on behalf of the Branch. The judges bring a mixture of personal expertise and professional experience combined with a passion for our lovely county. Their backgrounds are commonly in environmental conservation, business and the community. At least one Trustee of CPRE Hampshire is on the judging panel.

The judges meet to assess entries and select approximately three finalists in each category. Site visits to finalists take place between August and mid-September 2015. The winners will then be determined. All entrants will be notified of the judges’ decision and those projects selected for site visits, plus any others the judges consider worthy of special awards, will be invited to the Countryside Awards Ceremony on the evening of Friday 25th September 2015 at Itchen Abbas and Avington Village Hall, Winchester.

The 2015 sponsors

Lead sponsor - The Southern Co-operative 

As a co-operative - with its roots in Hampshire and around 170 food stores across the south - the well-being of the local and wider community is at the heart of its business. Colleagues are actively involved in supporting community groups in many ways, often working in partnership with others, to support environmental, economic and social sustainability projects. This support comes from the belief that, with a combination of funding, practical help, advice and co-operation, The Southern Co-operative can assist local people to make a real difference to their environment.

Steve's Leaves, a brand of Vitacress Salads Ltd is comprised of a bunch of pioneering farmers who grow tasty, nutritious baby leaves on their nature friendly farms where 10% of the land is dedicated to nature. They build special habitats to encourage wildlife and make decisions about landscape usage based upon environmental considerations.

Dutton Gregory Solicitors is a leading multi-service law firm in the South, meeting the needs of companies and private individuals UK-wide. Its expert hands-on teams of solicitors provide specialist legal services to meet all your requirements. Based in Winchester the firm has offices in Hampshire, Dorset and Central London.

Radian is an award-winning organisation which provides affordable homes, care and support across the South East of England and strives to create conditions where its residents, people it supports, communities and staff can flourish.

About CPRE, the Campaign to Protect Rural England

CPRE fights for a better future for the English countryside. They work locally and nationally to protect, shape and enhance a beautiful, thriving countryside for everyone to value and enjoy.

As well as local groups, they have branches in every county; they influence local planning decisions and strategies at district and regional levels. At the Hampshire branch of CPRE they work to defend the Hampshire countryside from damaging development and promote sustainable development; to protect and enhance the character of the local countryside and to increase and harness support for it. They have almost 2,200 members in Hampshire made up of individuals, parish/town councils and other groups/organisations.
Their work spans wide-ranging countryside and rural issues – from landscapes, hedgerows and dark skies, to housing and planning, farming and food, transport, energy and waste and the rural economy.

For more information please contact:

Nicola Revolta
Branch Development Officer
CPRE Hampshire Branch Office
89a St Cross Road
Winchester SO23 9RJ
Tel - 01962 841897 Email –
Twitter @CPRE_Hampshire / Find them on Facebook!
Sign their Charter to save the countryside Join our mailing list to receive our monthly eNewsletter – email

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