Sun. Jul 3rd, 2022

Isle of Wight Observer News

The Island's Free Newspaper

Get someone who cares for our countryside recognised

2 min read

There are just days left to nominate your favourite rural business or young person living in, working in or making a contribution to our countryside, to win a prestigious Isle of Wight Rural Award.

With the deadline for entries on Wednesday (May 25), make sure you get your nomination in quickly so those people who make a difference to the Island’s rural economy are in with a chance of being recognised.

Briddlesford Lodge Farm is a family run dairy farm that has expanded and diversified to encompass a farm shop, café and milk-processing dairy. They won IW Business of the Year in 2018.

Paul Griffin, the fourth generation of his family to farm the land, said: “All of us at Briddlesford are very proud of what we do, and we were incredibly proud to receive this kind of recognition from the society.

“It is not easy to stay focussed and aspire to drive a business forward, sometimes when confronted with seemingly un-solvable problems and huge obstacles, but our team have stayed loyal through thick and thin, and I attribute our success to their hard work and sacrifice.

“We have grown our farm, our shop, café, milk-processing dairy, and business as a whole, into an employer of over 40 local people and an outlet for not just our own milk and dairy products, but also for many other farmers and food producers across the Island.

“The society judged our entry with a real understanding about the challenges of rural life, and rural business, but they were not afraid to question and scrutinise our provenance. It was good to know that we were being taken seriously, and daunting to know that we were up against the best on the Island.

“The award takes pride of place on the shelf in our café because it is always a great morale boost to be recognised in your own community, but also to be recognised across the Island. We have gained invaluable publicity from it and, in turn, it has helped to drive our business to the next level.

“I have nothing but respect for the other entries, and I am the first to admit that I felt slightly in awe of the other short-listed businesses in our category. I am certain that we can only have won by a very slim margin. Unfortunately, there can only be one winner!”

Isle of Wight Rural Awards nomination forms can be downloaded from riwas.org.uk/iwruralawards or call 0845 226 9098. Entries close on May 25.