The new Nottinghamshire Farm Environment Award launches today, run by NFU, jointly with Nottinghamshire Farming and Wildlife (NFW), the awards are designed to recognise “good environmental management on commercial farms” in the county.
NFU’s county adviser, Simon Fisher said: “This is Nottinghamshire’s competition, which we’ve run for several years, but with a simple entry form, a new prize structure and we’re developing a younger farmer award with the county YFC, to complement the commercial farm category.”
This year’s competition will award a first prize of £4,000, a second prize of £2,500 and a third prize of £1,500. The prizes will be awarded over all farm types and sizes and everyone is welcome to apply, provided their business is run on a commercial basis in Nottinghamshire.
Simon Fisher continues: “The judges will be looking for farms that actively promote conservation management in tandem with a commercial farming or horticultural business. The competition has a simple entry form that can be completed on paper or electronically and we’re hoping that there’ll be stiff competition for these excellent prizes.”
The competition closes on 9 June when the entrants will go through a preliminary round of judging, followed by on-farm judging.
NFW chairman, John Charles-Jones is keen that the new competition gets off to a good start: “Farmers have a great story to tell about how we care for the environment and how we create and enhance wildlife habitats. "Recent figures from Natural England show that in Nottinghamshire, almost two thirds of farmed land is looked after under environmental schemes. It is this success and the vast amount of care and attention we give to the environment that we’re celebrating with the Nottinghamshire Farm Environment Awards. I’d urge all farmers to find out more about the awards and consider entering the competition – the competition is a great opportunity to shout about the work we do and to win an excellent prize at the same time it is well worth the effort!”
New to the Nottinghamshire Farm Environment Awards in 2014 is a fourth category called the “Young Farmer Award”, which is being launched by NFU and NFW, in conjunction with the county’s Young Farmers Club. The award is worth £1,000 to the YFC club that “restores or creates a wildlife feature or habitat on a commercial farm”.
YFC clubs in Nottinghamshire are asked to submit a clear outline of their practical ideas with a description of what they are going to do, why they are doing it, identify the benefits to the environment, how it will integrate with the commercial operation on the farm and how the prize money will be used to carry out the project. A well-costed and budgeted plan on how they propose to spend the £1000 prize money will be required with the entry form.