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The Environmental Quality Mark Awards 2013 (EQM)

Peak District businesses celebrate 2013 environmental awards Nine new Environmental Quality Mark (EQM) Awards were presented to Peak District businesses at a special 10th anniversary dinner.

Cllr Tony Favell, chair of the Peak District National Park Authority, presented the awards during an evening ceremony at Thornbridge Hall, near Ashford in the Water. Cllr Favell said: “The success of the Environmental Quality Mark scheme is down to the people involved and the passion they demonstrate in creating unique products and services that help look after the environment as well as local people and communities.

“Each of these businesses supports their local economy, works to reduce their environmental impact, plays an active role in their local community and helps conserve the Peak District National Park.”

Some businesses attending the event were amongst those awarded at the scheme’s launch in 2003 and have maintained its high environmental standards for over 10 years. Two special awards for outstanding contributions to the scheme were made to Paul and Elspeth Walker of Dove Valley Centre, Sheen, who have enthusiastically demonstrated their environmentally friendly ways of working for 10 years, and to Ken Parker, now retired, who founded the scheme when he worked for the Peak District National Park Authority.

The awards celebration was organised by the Environmental Quality Mark community interest company, which took over the running of the scheme from the national park authority in 2012. EQM director Faith Johnson said: “As a not for profit company the awards dinner is achieved on a small budget made possible thanks to the Environmental Quality Mark award holders, from farmers to butchers to gourmet caterers, who donated their wonderful produce.

“Our 10 year celebration was extra special thanks to Jim and Emma Harrison who invited us all to Thornbridge Hall for the occasion.”

The event was also attended by businesses from Staffordshire who participate in a sister scheme, the Staffordshire Environmental Quality Mark, supported by Staffordshire County Council. Losehill House Hotel, Castleton, lent lovely white linen and tableware, The Dorothy Clive Garden, in Staffordshire, created beautiful table centre pieces from seasonal foliage and fruit freshly gathered from
the garden. Welcome drinks were Renishaw Hall pink sparkling wine and Rowley’s Cardinal Punch provided by Fischer’s of Baslow.
Gourmet Express and Strand Fine Catering worked together to create a spectacular locally produced banquet using Environmental Quality Mark ingredients. Beef was donated by E.W.Coates butchers, Two Dales, lamb donated by J W Mettrick & Son butchers, Glossop and free range pork sausages were donated by Essington Fruit Farm, Staffordshire. Deserts were provided by award recipients The Village Green Café in Eyam, Tindall’s of Tideswell, Hope Valley Ice Cream and Matlock Meadows Ice Cream. Handmade after dinner mints, truffles and a celebration cake were donated by Bakewell company, Naughty & Nice.

There was also a display of award-winning crafts including handmade ceramics, natural soaps, Peak District wool products and turned wooden bowls made from local sustainable timber.

The Peak District award winners 2013 were:

Tourism and recreation:
Buxton Civic Association (Pooles Cavern and associated woodland),
Buxton Discover Buxton, Buxton Village Green Café, Eyam

Local makers and producers:
Bakewell Soap Co, Bakewell
Green Farm Plants & Herbs, Birchover

Accommodation:
Ballfields Barn, Bradnop
Peat Pits Farm Holiday Cottages, Bradfield
Sladen Lodge, Hathersage

Tourism and recreation:
Buxton Civic Association (Pooles Cavern and associated woodland), Buxton
Discover Buxton, Buxton
Village Green Café, Eyam

Training and facilitation:
Wayahead Training, Buxton

The 2013 awards take the number of current Peak District Environmental Quality Mark award-holders to 68. Award-holders are able to display the Environmental Quality Mark logo, and their listing on the national park website gives a boost to their search-engine rankings.

More information is available from 0770 245 2777 or at www.eqm.org.uk/peakdistrict