2015 Rural Award Categories and Winners

[vc_row][vc_column][vc_custom_heading text=”The Scottish Rural Awards 2015 Categories and Winners” font_container=”tag:h2|text_align:center” google_fonts=”font_family:Montserrat%3Aregular%2C700|font_style:400%20regular%3A400%3Anormal”][vc_column_text]

Below are the 2015 Categories and Winners – With 2016 The Categories have changed a little bit with the introduction of Rural Enterprise which has incorporated Butcher. Agriculture and Aquaculture now have individual Awards and Rural Tourism and Hospitality merging into one Award. Also for 2016 the Rural Hero and Lifetime Achievement Awards are open to public nomination for the first time

[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_accordion active_tab=”false” collapsible=”yes”][vc_accordion_tab title=”Hospitality”][vc_row_inner][vc_column_inner width=”1/4″][vc_single_image image=”462″ style=”vc_box_outline”][/vc_column_inner][vc_column_inner width=”3/4″][vc_column_text]Hospitality Background

There are many hospitality based awards and the majority, quite rightly, look at the experience for the guest, the facilities, the food and the fluffy pillows. However, unlike most hospitality awards, the Scottish Rural Awards criteria looks less at the pillows and more at how nominees work within their community, how they engage with their local resources and what value they bring to the area in terms of local suppliers, employment, integration and positive development.

Hospitality can drive business to a local area, and when done well, the nominee should be seen as a catalyst or hub for the benefit of all.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][vc_single_image image=”470″ img_link_large=”yes”][vc_column_text]

Unusually, the winner of the Hospitality Award is not just an accommodation provider, it is a huge and welcome part of a remote highland area, and is responsible for a great deal of the vibrancy and recognition the area has, working in harmony with the entire community whilst driving business to the whole area, including their own amazing accommodation. The 2015 Winner is Ardnamurchan Estates [/vc_column_text][vc_single_image image=”287″ img_link_large=”yes”][vc_column_text]Craigatin House is a boutique B&B in Pitlochry, providing a unique mix of Victorian features with luxury, contemporary, modern design. With 14 bedrooms, accommodating 28 guests when full, their pretty Victorian property is set on a two acre plot with parking, spacious grounds and gardens, all just a short walk into Pitlochry. www.craigatinhouse.co.uk[/vc_column_text][vc_single_image image=”285″ img_link_large=”yes”][vc_column_text]The Buccleuch and Queensberry Arms Hotel – a traditional yet stylish country hotel in the picturesque town of Thornhill. Situated three miles from Drumlanrig Castle in Dumfries and Galloway and only 90 minutes from Edinburgh or Glasgow. The BQA offers great food, both in the relaxed hotel restaurant as well as the classic pub environment of the back bar. The Hotel has 12 bedrooms, private dining room, function room and herb garden. Dumfries and Galloway boasts unspoilt countryside and is set in one of the least discovered areas of Scotland. The surrounding region is bursting with stunning coastlines, extensive forests, beautiful rivers and rugged hills. Enjoy long walks, cycling, riding, canoeing and fishing on the Nith as well as the many field sports on our doorstep. www.bqahotel.com[/vc_column_text][/vc_accordion_tab][vc_accordion_tab title=”Rural Tourism”][vc_row_inner][vc_column_inner width=”1/4″][vc_single_image image=”466″ style=”vc_box_outline”][/vc_column_inner][vc_column_inner width=”3/4″][vc_column_text]Rural Tourism Background

Engaging with tourists, whether local or international, the quality of visitor centres and attractions in Scotland are world class. The true measure of success as always is not necessarily the ‘bottom line’ on the balance sheet, but the reputation of the venue which ensures both repeat business and ongoing value to the rural communities. These are inextricably linked and, if properly managed, will support all involved far into the future. So, to the judges, the key areas of importance were based around communication, innovation, development, interaction and education as well as a sense of the intention for beyond the present.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][vc_single_image image=”470″ img_link_large=”yes”][vc_column_text]This winner may or may not be a surprise. Having been around for near a millennia, and in the same family for 400 years, the staff manage to keep the experience fresh, engaged, educational, enlightening and of course successful – all key factors in winning this category. The winner is Scone Palace[/vc_column_text][vc_single_image image=”287″ img_link_large=”yes”][vc_column_text]Cairnie Fruit Farm is a long established family run business in Cupar, Fife and is a popular local landmark.

In 2007 farm was awarded four stars by Visit Scotland. In 2011/2012, Cairnie received a prestigious Countryside Alliance Award for Best Rural Enterprise. More recently Cairnie was shortlisted for a national award from the National Farmers’ and Markets’ Association (FARMA). The farm was just one of two finalists in the Best Farm Destination 2013 category.

The farm and Cairnie House itself is beautifully situated on 120 acres, 45 of which are producing top quality fruit for the highly regarded Pick Your Own as well as for the supermarket soft fruit industry.

[/vc_column_text][vc_single_image image=”285″ img_link_large=”yes”][vc_column_text]The Scottish Crannog Centre is an independent and entirely self-funded open air museum run on behalf of the Scottish Trust for Underwater Archaeology[/vc_column_text][/vc_accordion_tab][vc_accordion_tab title=”Artisan Food”][vc_row_inner][vc_column_inner width=”1/4″][vc_single_image image=”474″ img_link_large=”yes”][/vc_column_inner][vc_column_inner width=”3/4″][vc_column_text]Artisan Food Background

Introduction: The word ‘artisan’ nowadays has been ever broadened to include practices which were considered normal and every day, before mass production and globalisation came into force. Artisan should not, however, be associated with ‘small’; rather, it should be celebrated as a modernisation of traditional practice with its success determined by an ever increasing demand for its produce. It is fair to say that supporting and talking about these producers is a must, because as with many rural enterprises their success is inherently embedded amongst the local communities they serve.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][vc_single_image image=”470″ img_link_large=”yes”][vc_column_text]The judges love enterprise, whether large or small, and they especially appreciate the focus, dedication and single mindedness of these food entrepreneurs – from a start-up 18 years ago, to supplying 600 stores as well as butchers and restaurants throughout the nation, this winner has almost single-handedly brought their products into the main stream, and in doing so has increased the demand from his suppliers, who are the farms, forests and estates of Scotland – as well as employing upwards of 100 people. The positive effect of this enterprise can be truly felt throughout rural Scotland. Please congratulate the 2015 Scottish Rural Award Winner for Artisan Food – Highland Game [/vc_column_text][vc_single_image image=”287″ img_link_large=”yes”][vc_column_text]Great Glen specialise in producing charcuterie using only wild Scottish venison, they are a family business set up ten years ago by Anja and her husband Jan Jacob. They live and work in the beautiful little village of Roy Bridge, set deep in the rugged Scottish Highlands.

All of their products are produced by hand and air dried because Jan Jacob is passionate about preserving as much of the unique and unrivalled flavour of wild venison as he possibly can. New ideas drive them forward and they are always striving to create fresh and innovative recipes and flavours.

[/vc_column_text][vc_single_image image=”285″ img_link_large=”yes”][vc_column_text]The Store, based at Foveran on the outskirts of Aberdeen, is a family run business, which was launched in 2000 with a strong vision of providing natural, good quality local produce to its customer.

The Store is run by husband and wife team Andrew and Debbie Booth, who both share a strong passion for the business and its vision. Andrew comes from a farming background and is the fourth generation of his family to become a farmer, which was the main driving force that has fuelled his vision.

They believe in the personal touch, and have a passion for food and believe that good food demands the very best raw ingredients.

Their aim is to promote high-quality, regional food with passion that is 100% traceable.[/vc_column_text][/vc_accordion_tab][vc_accordion_tab title=”Artisan Drink”][vc_row_inner][vc_column_inner width=”1/4″][vc_single_image image=”508″ img_link_large=”yes”][/vc_column_inner][vc_column_inner width=”3/4″][vc_column_text]Artisan Drink Background

This is a really exciting category which was hotly contested, and indeed the judges results were the closest of any of the categories. Drink includes pretty much every beverage, alcoholic and non-alcoholic, and can be mixed up with all sorts of personal views, but like the majority of all nominees for all the categories, the Artisan Drink category provided a stunning display of innovation, experimentation and development skills, which weighed less heavily towards, in the judges minds, a commercial ‘number of units sold’ and more towards the message or style the nominee was trying (in every case successfully) to transmit.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][vc_single_image image=”470″ img_link_large=”yes”][vc_column_text]A really fascinating category, with many stories of how these Artisan Drinks producers came about – and this winner’s own words are “Born out of a passion for making cider in the best possible way, combined with belief in the quality of Scottish produce, and asking ‘why not?’

Well in answer to the question – why not indeed? And it worked, a hugely successful artisan drink maker heading for an international brand, the 2015 Scottish Rural Awards Winner for Artisan Drink is Thistly Cross Cider[/vc_column_text][vc_single_image image=”287″ img_link_large=”yes”][vc_column_text]Summerhouse Drinks are lovingly made by berry boffin, Claire Rennie in Fraserburgh, Scotland. There is nothing that this girl doesn’t know about berries! Fed up with being the designated driver with no interesting soft drinks options to enjoy, Claire set about creating a range of artisan lemonades and Summerhouse Drinks was born!

The range of Summerhouse Drinks is produced on the family farm using only natural ingredients, such as plump Scottish raspberries and fragrant lavender, with no artificial colours or flavours. Although lemons don’t grow in Scotland, Claire sources the freshest lemons that she can find and rest of their ingredients as close to home as possible.[/vc_column_text][vc_single_image image=”285″ img_link_large=”yes”][vc_column_text]The Shetland Distillery Company was created by four people sharing a passion for producing top quality products in local communities.

Over the past 8 years, Frank and Debbie Strang have regenerated the former RAF site at Saxa Vord, Unst into an award-winning tourist resort with year round self-catering accommodation and seasonal hostel and bar/restaurant.

The size of their still means that they will be one of the smallest commercial gin distilleries.

Their small batch production will be in limited supply and initially it will only be available within Shetland. However their plans are to grow as word spreads, making the product available throughout the UK, Europe and the USA.[/vc_column_text][/vc_accordion_tab][vc_accordion_tab title=”Education”][vc_row_inner][vc_column_inner width=”1/4″][vc_single_image image=”478″ img_link_large=”yes”][/vc_column_inner][vc_column_inner width=”3/4″][vc_column_text]Education Background

The Education category, sponsored by Strathallan School, is a category very dear to everyone’s heart. The funds raised by the auction tonight will be going to the Routes to Rural Employment initiative, whose key aim is re-establish the link between education and business, creating a generation that is informed as well as educated. Education conjures up words like impact, vocational, preparation, understanding, support and development, and these words were amongst many others used by the judges in this category. Education can take many forms and operate at many levels, but behind the specifics lies a desire to equip those being educated with the tools necessary for them to succeed in whichever way they need.[/vc_column_text][vc_single_image image=”230″ img_size=”medium” img_link_large=”yes” title=”Sponsored By”][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][vc_single_image image=”470″ img_link_large=”yes”][vc_column_text]All the nominees were highly individual, and talking about this winner will mean everyone will figure out who they are. However, it is worth mentioning their outstanding success lies not necessarily in the completion of their project but the journey all went through to achieve it. Young and unfocused meets old, perhaps grumpy but highly skilled – the result is that the young and old find worth and direction, showing that once you strip away all pre-conceptions all generations can teach each other something, and working together can find real value in pretty much anything they choose. The 2015 Scottish Rural Award for Education goes to Connect Berwickshire Youth Project.[/vc_column_text][vc_single_image image=”287″ img_link_large=”yes”][vc_column_text]Ballet West is a ballet school with an outstanding reputation, based in Taynuilt in Argyll. Since it was established in 1991, Ballet West has steadily developed an ambitious educational programme and now offers a full-time HND in Professional Dance Performance and a BA (Hons) in Dance.  It also runs a variety of outreach classes for students from age 3 through to adults. These include classes for  300 young people throughout Argyll, four Summer Schools and two year-long Associate courses in Edinburgh and Glasgow.

In addition, Ballet West has developed as a semi-professional touring company with an extensive audience base and extremely high reputation for delivering quality productions. The 2014 tour of Swan Lake took place at 12 venues around Scotland and was seen by over 5000 people. In recent years the company has also toured China twice.[/vc_column_text][vc_single_image image=”285″ img_link_large=”yes”][vc_column_text]

The Lochaber Rural Education Trust (LRET) is a unique facility offering education and recreation to children and adults in Lochaber. The Centre is located in a stunning position, at the foot of the Ben Nevis surrounded by breath taking scenery. Helping to run the centre are a great group of volunteers from the local community, who believe in preserving the heritage and culture of the area. The Education Centre provides education, training and opportunities for those who are interested in rural life and history. The aim of the Trust is to develop the area to provide facilities which do not exist elsewhere in Lochaber, for the benefit of people of all ages and abilities.

.[/vc_column_text][/vc_accordion_tab][vc_accordion_tab title=”Butcher”][vc_row_inner][vc_column_inner width=”1/4″][vc_single_image image=”490″ img_link_large=”yes”][/vc_column_inner][vc_column_inner width=”3/4″][vc_column_text]Butcher Background

The Butcher category has been an integral part of the Rural Oscars for a decade, and now equally important to The Scottish Rural Awards. The reason for this is that our butchers tend to be a barometer to the health of the local rural community. A successful butcher can hold their own against any incomer regardless of size, as people realise that butchery is an art form, and produce has to be made, not manufactured, in order to achieve the quality people wish for. The fact that there are so many butchers in the Scottish countryside and that the support they have in terms of customer loyalty is quite simply epic. Success of course comes in many forms, but one of the first things which determines whether somebody will move into a rural community is asking the question ‘is there a good butcher nearby’? Well, judging by the response in terms of nominations the answers is yes, a hell of a lot of them![/vc_column_text][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][vc_single_image image=”470″ img_link_large=”yes”][vc_column_text]A butcher provides a highly personalised service, knows their customers intimately and gives them exactly what want. Many retailers could learn lessons from all in this category. The winner, however, was faced with being the last butcher in their entire community with none other anywhere close. Most businesses would manage what they have very carefully, and fortunately this butcher saw an opportunity to expand their service exceptionally – not only opening another shop at the other end of the community, and having mobile vans serving every village, but they also developed a delivery service. All huge investment which has paid off, and all to the Isle of Arran’s benefit, the 2015 Scottish Rural Award winner for the Butcher category is The Arran Butcher.[/vc_column_text][vc_single_image image=”287″ img_link_large=”yes”][vc_column_text]Macbeth’s Butchers is a family run business that provides high quality meat products throughout the UK. In the main, the beef is provided from their own farm, Edinvale, in upland Moray where they rear traditional Scottish native breeds. These are reared in as an extensive, natural environment as possible being fed grass, home grown hay or silage and no growth promoters.[/vc_column_text][vc_single_image image=”285″ img_link_large=”yes”][vc_column_text]Having been established for over 30 years, Castletown Butchers now operates under the watchful eye of Derek MacKay, who took over the running of the shop in 2008. As well as the traditional butcher’s offering of quality meats – lamb, beef pork and poultry (including burgers and puddings) – sourced from nearby farmers, they also stock dairy and bakery produce from local suppliers, plus fresh fruit and vegetables and a host of day-to-day essentials. A butcher van service runs Monday to Friday to the more remote villages too, ensuring those in outlying areas don’t miss out on treats like sausage of the day, which could be Cajun pork, sage and onion or even Irn-Bru and sweet chilli.[/vc_column_text][/vc_accordion_tab][vc_accordion_tab title=”Conservation and The Environment”][vc_row_inner][vc_column_inner width=”1/4″][vc_single_image image=”494″ img_link_large=”yes”][/vc_column_inner][vc_column_inner width=”3/4″][vc_column_text]Conservation and The Environment Background

A hot topic all over the world and getting hotter, in Scotland a great deal of effort goes into managing the countryside’s natural resources, and utilising them efficiently for the benefit of all. Many of the buzzwords popular today on the global stage have been essential ingredients for Scottish organisations, individuals and businesses forever: sustainability, regeneration, protection, rescue, introduction, re-introduction and re-organisation. And it is fair to say that most of the time, these practices are not followed by a trumpet call or fanfare, they are just part of everyday practice. It has long been recognised that only the management of our environment produces the biodiversity we all wish for, and balancing the needs of the whole is the only way we can achieve a thriving eco-structure.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][vc_single_image image=”470″ img_link_large=”yes”][vc_column_text]One of the key areas of the United Kingdom which has been under massive pressure due to over use and lack of any regeneration practises is its coastal waters. Scotland especially, has witnessed the dark days of factory ships denuding entire areas of seabed, leaving nothing but a dead zone behind. It is a mammoth task to re-generate our coastal waters and there are many projects to try and achieve some kind of recovery. This winner could perhaps inspire others to operate in a similar way, by managing their resources at the pace of its regeneration, not our demand. Based on Mull, their bywords are ‘quality’ and ‘marine conservation’. Be inspired by their ethic – a word they believe in so much they use it in their name. The 2015 Scottish Rural Award for Conservation and Environment goes to The Ethical Shellfish Company.[/vc_column_text][vc_single_image image=”287″ img_link_large=”yes”][vc_column_text]As diverse as the environment they are trying to preserve and enhance, the Allargue Estate has each achieved in their own way, a far greater positive impact on their surroundings…. and their hard work and diligence is recognised by this award.[/vc_column_text][vc_single_image image=”285″ img_link_large=”yes”][vc_column_text]Lochbroom Woodfuels Ltd is a community-owned social enterprise based in Ullapool, in the Highlands of Scotland. They are committed to creating a reliable and sustainable woodfuel supply chain in their area. This will reduce Ullapool’s fossil fuel usage, mitigate fuel poverty and create employment.[/vc_column_text][/vc_accordion_tab][vc_accordion_tab title=”Agriculture and Aquaculture”][vc_row_inner][vc_column_inner width=”1/4″][vc_single_image image=”498″ img_link_large=”yes”][/vc_column_inner][vc_column_inner width=”3/4″][vc_column_text]Agriculture and Aquaculture Background

With around 95% of Scotland classed as rural, this category is considered a bit of a heavy weight. Both agriculture and aquaculture, sponsored by Fish Vet Group, are two of Scotland’s major industries, whose importance in connecting all areas of Scotland cannot be underestimated. Not simply the production of food, it is a hotbed of research and development, innovation and multi-revenue management. Most parts of the industry have been put under pressure by government, by conglomerates, and by the environment! And of course by customer choices. Nevertheless the industry fights and fights hard, finding evermore diverse ways to survive and supply, a true multi-faceted business model. Servicing that diversity at least in the aquaculture industry is Fish Vet Group, the world’s largest provider of dedicated evidence-based veterinary services, diagnostic technologies and environmental monitoring to the aquaculture sectors. And here to present the awards[/vc_column_text][vc_single_image image=”245″ img_link_large=”yes”][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][vc_single_image image=”470″ img_link_large=”yes”][vc_column_text]Enhancing, protecting and managing the countryside’s rural resources, including those in the shallow waters around Scotland, is key, and in the judges’ opinion innovation is demanded in order to succeed. Couple that with steely determination and the highest possible quality, move the entire resource onto land so it does not interfere or affect its natural environment, and you have what the judges consider to be one of the most effective ways to manage fish production in a way that least impacts the environment – incredible success at achieving this. The winner of the Scottish Rural Award for Agriculture and Aquaculture – Gigha Halibut![/vc_column_text][vc_single_image image=”287″ img_link_large=”yes”][vc_column_text]Angus Soft Fruits Ltd grows and markets berries on the east coast for sale to retailers throughout the UK. We supply around 15% of all berries sold in the UK.

The business is family owned, having been established in 1994 by Lochy Porter, his father Willie and cousin James Gray. The business has invested heavily in R&D and new product development. They have their own breeding programme developing new strawberry and raspberry varieties. A recent release is the strawberry variety AVA Rosa. Another innovation is their Good Natured Brand www.goodnaturedfruit.co.uk which is how they sell berries which are produced such that they are 100% pesticide residue free.

[/vc_column_text][vc_single_image image=”285″ img_link_large=”yes”][vc_column_text]Scot-Hatch Ltd is based on the North West coast of Scotland and is focused on producing high quality diver caught King Scallops.  They are committed to perfecting the technique of “Scallop Ranching”, new to Scotland and the UK but common place in other parts of the world. Working in collaboration with Norwegian company Scalpro AS since 2010 they have carried out considerable research and run commercial scale trials and are now seeking investment to further develop our business. A business they believe will develop into a thriving, profitable industry that is sustainable, of low environmental impact and will bring valuable employment to fragile areas.[/vc_column_text][/vc_accordion_tab][vc_accordion_tab title=”Business Start Up”][vc_row_inner][vc_column_inner width=”1/4″][vc_single_image image=”499″ img_link_large=”yes”][/vc_column_inner][vc_column_inner width=”3/4″][vc_column_text]Business Start Up Background

The hugely encouraging thing about this category, especially in this difficult economic climate, is the sheer number of start-ups that were nominated. Having to be under 24 months old before last December, means the nominees really are in the thick of it, and highlighting the start of their journey can surely do some good, both for them and to inspire others to develop their own ideas into business. In deciding how to apply the criteria, the judges needed to understand both what the nominee was doing, where they were trying to get to and the probable positive impact their success would have on the community at large.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][vc_single_image image=”470″ img_link_large=”yes”][vc_column_text]This is not a particularly trendy business, but it requires a huge amount of hard work, dedication, experimentation and deft touch. The judges loved this company’s ethos of protecting the past with a future-led business idea, and the fact that it brought its own inbuilt biodiversity to the area is an added bonus. The 2015 Scottish Rural Awards winner for the Business Start-Up Category, Tweed Valley Fruit Trees.[/vc_column_text][vc_single_image image=”287″ img_link_large=”yes”][vc_column_text]Stable Life provides a safe, nurturing and learning experience using the horse and its environment to help young people reach their full potential, and become healthier and happier with aspirations and dreams.

They provide child-centred, tailored support in 1:1 or group sessions, the opportunity to engage in positive activities and increase self-confidence/self-esteem. They also  develop positive/trusted relationships, Increase resilience and  develop social and transferable life skills, They provide peer mentoring training and access to supported work placements.

They provide valuable opportunity and enhanced support to children and young people who are experiencing personal challenges.

Young people are referred from across Scottish Borders from many partner agencies such as school, social work, NHS, school nurses, CAMHS – Children and Adolescent Mental Health Services – and other voluntary agencies.[/vc_column_text][vc_single_image image=”285″ img_link_large=”yes”][vc_column_text]Showing how tough this category is, with a joint Highly Commended;

The Shetland Distillery Company was created by four people sharing a passion for producing top quality products in local communities.

Over the past 8 years, Frank and Debbie Strang have regenerated the former RAF site at Saxa Vord, Unst into an award-winning tourist resort with year round self-catering accommodation and seasonal hostel and bar/restaurant.

The size of their still means that they will be one of the smallest commercial gin distilleries.

Their small batch production will be in limited supply and initially it will only be available within Shetland. However their plans are to grow as word spreads, making the product available throughout the UK, Europe and the USA.

FreshFoodExpress know it can be tricky finding a convenient regular source of real food in one place, that’s where they come in. While your busy leading your hectic lives, they are out and about sourcing Scotland’s freshest produce from micro artisans. You can access each day’s freshest bounty at a click of a mouse. Choose from the freshest fish caught that morning in the North East of Scotland, to juiciest plumpest raspberries handpicked in Perthshire. Or perhaps a select cut of the wildest red deer from the Angus Glens or a marbled sirloin steak from a Highland cow that has spent his happy life enjoying Scotland’s wide-open spaces? After all we all know the best meals start with quality ingredients.

[/vc_column_text][/vc_accordion_tab][vc_accordion_tab title=”Business Diversification”][vc_row_inner][vc_column_inner width=”1/4″][vc_single_image image=”501″ img_link_large=”yes”][/vc_column_inner][vc_column_inner width=”3/4″][vc_column_text]Business Diversification Background

One of the hardest things in life is to perhaps stop or adapt what you have always done and find a different way to succeed. With more pressures than ever on traditional business from many different spheres, finding the right mix to make your business a success is very hard. Done well, the diversification can both compliment and enhance the core business and in some cases be so successful as to become the core business. That said, it can often be hard to understand the unforeseen impact as a result of changing something or indeed involving something entirely new. An inspiring category in many ways, not least it might help those to look beyond their present circumstances and see their own way forward.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][vc_single_image image=”470″ img_link_large=”yes”][vc_column_text]For over 100 years this family has managed their traditional farm, modernising their farming practices as and when technology and money allows. However, through various pressures they found themselves having to diversify, so took a huge leap in the 1990s and started ostrich farming, from imported ostrich eggs – incubating, hatching and rearing, they raised over 15,000 ostriches for meat on the farm in the borders. Over the years they have overcome disease, employment issues, expansion and investment issues. They are now one of the leading companies in the UK, supplying the largest range of exotic meats from venison, wild boar, ostrich, kangaroo, crocodile and many more, into the retail, butchers, restaurant and hotel sectors; supporting the local community and employing over 70 staff from in and around the area. Please congratulate the 2015 Scottish Rural Awards Business Diversification Winner Kezie Foods.[/vc_column_text][vc_single_image image=”287″ img_link_large=”yes”][vc_column_text]An authentic tale of craft and graft, spuds and science, small-scale quality and big ideas.

Ogilvy Vodka, at its root, is the family’s affinity with the land, a bond which inspired the creation of Ogilvy premium potato vodka.

The Jarrons, have farmed the land at Hatton of Ogilvy farm since 1910. In the early years workhorses were crucial for cultivation, until new methods and machinery arrived, but cattle and crops have been raised throughout their family’s tenure.

Sustainability has also always been present at Ogilvy Farm, where they never neglect the past, but are equipped for the future.

The advent of solar panels offers a case in point; a green means of powering old-fashioned farming values as well as a new micro-distillery.

People provide the farm’s pulse. Graeme Jarron heads up Ogilvy’s operations, alongside wife Caroline; a fusion of rustic know-how and metropolitan chic that’s proved a fruitful mix.

Keeping it in the family, Graeme’s father Eric still harvests their potatoes, which grow a stone’s throw from the farmhouse B&B run by his mother, Grace.

[/vc_column_text][vc_single_image image=”285″ img_link_large=”yes”][vc_column_text]For the second time a JOINT Highly Commended is awarded this time to:

Arbikie Vodka: The Stirling family behind Arbikie have generations of history in farming the land upon which the raw ingredients are now grown. These raw materials are being distilled and bottled on the same estate where they originated from, and without ever leaving the boundaries.

The ability to trace the spirit in the bottle back to the soil where the original seed was sown is very powerful. It’s also very Scottish. In an era where food provenance is increasingly valued, the story behind Arbikie can only be one of success.

The Brochs of Coigach are two highly unusual holiday houses built on a croft that is situated in the Assynt and Coigach National Scenic Area in Wester Ross.

They were tenants of the croft for many years before they realized its potential for diversification into tourism.

One half of the croft is still being used for sheep rearing, whereas the other half today provides a far higher turnover than possibly any other croft in the crofting counties of Scotland.

They are as much works of art as they are the most luxurious holiday lets you can think of.

These unique buildings near the village of Achiltibuie in the Highlands of Scotland are embedded entirely in dry stone walls, timeless in appearance but contemporary inside. They are situated within four acres of their own ground accessible only by a private farm track.

Brochs are an ancient concept – Iron Age roundhouses peculiar to the northwest of the Scottish Highlands and Islands, such as Jarlshof in the Shetlands that you can see in the picture below. Gille Buidhe and Scàl were two brothers who are said to have been the first people to settle Coigach, a remote peninsula in the sea that separates the Highlands of Scotland from the Hebrides. Coigach forms part of the most renowned National Scenic Area of Scotland.

[/vc_column_text][/vc_accordion_tab][vc_accordion_tab title=”Rural Hero”][vc_row_inner][vc_column_inner width=”1/4″][vc_single_image image=”421″ img_link_large=”yes”][/vc_column_inner][vc_column_inner width=”3/4″][vc_column_text]

Rural Hero Criteria

This category can be nominated by a friend, colleague, family member or anyone else (except the Rural Hero themselves). The Scottish Rural Awards will ask the following questions in their pursuit of Scotland’s Rural Hero:
a) What makes this individual remarkable?
b) What is the impact of this individual on others?
c) Being specific, detail why the term ‘Hero’ should be applied to this individual.

[/vc_column_text][vc_single_image image=”240″ img_size=”medium” link=”http://www.chiene.co.uk/”][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][vc_single_image image=”470″ img_link_large=”yes”][vc_column_text]It is a great pleasure for Chiene and Tait to sponsor the Scottish Rural Awards Rural Hero Category and with all the examples we have seen of dedication, industry, ingenuity, persistence and dogged pursuit of goals it truly has been an incredible journey for us just to arrive at this point.

One of the key reasons we support the Routes to Rural Employment initiative is because it shows the rural young that it doesn’t matter where your journey starts or indeed how, it does not necessarily mean you will end your journey as you began.

One Rural Hero award recipient started their journey designing childrens toys another in Physical Education then both recipients joined in partnership to pioneer tagging programs for rare sharks,  won a business design award for fishing tackle, one moved into the manufacture of jigsaws the other into sport.

To list their achievements is a list too long, to detail their achievements to the direct benefit of the island of Mull and its Community is to understate their positive impact, but to mention a few, they have individually or collectively,  developed Tobermory Harbour, created a Mull Community sports hub, doggedly pursued a community swimming pool completed in 2008, and successfully engaged with big business and National Government on a myriad of projects to achieve their vision for a better community on the Island of Mull – Look at a snapshot of Tobermory nearly 40 years ago and one today and you will physically see the positive impact these two brothers have achieved for and on behalf of the Islanders of Mull.

The 2015 Joint Rural Hero Award Winners, Brian And Duncan Swinbanks.[/vc_column_text][/vc_accordion_tab][vc_accordion_tab title=”Lifetime Achievement Award”][vc_row_inner][vc_column_inner width=”1/4″][vc_single_image image=”357″ img_link_large=”yes”][/vc_column_inner][vc_column_inner width=”3/4″][vc_column_text]

Scottish Rural Lifetime Achievement Award

Specifically awarded to an individual whose impact over time has enhanced the lives or environment of others, without whose efforts a significant detriment or deficit would have been effected. Lifetime Achievement does not mean the individual has finished in their endeavours, but it does recognise that the individual has committed a significant proportion of their life to those endeavours.

[/vc_column_text][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][vc_single_image image=”470″ img_link_large=”yes”][vc_column_text]

We cannot seek achievement for ourselves and forget about progress and prosperity for our community… Our ambitions must be broad enough to include the aspirations and needs of others, for their sakes and for our own.

Cesar Chavez

Specifically awarded to an individual whose impact over time has enhanced the lives or environment of others, without whose efforts a significant detriment or deficit would have been effected. Lifetime Achievement does not mean the individual has finished in their endeavours but it does recognise that the individual has committed a significant proportion of their life to those endeavours.

Mr Trevor Adams is the recipient of this award in reflection of his dedication to rural life and livelihood throughout his forty year term as Huntsman and Master to Foxhounds.

[/vc_column_text][/vc_accordion_tab][/vc_accordion][/vc_column][/vc_row]

Sorry, comments are closed for this post.