Search This Blog

Monday, 29 November 2010

Double H Nurseries scoop Green Business Award
and named Business of the Year

Green Leaf Award 2010 Ralf Montagu,
Paul Mincham, Charlotte Lowcock, Alison Barnes
An award which celebrates businesses ‘green’ credentials has been won by Double H Nurseries at the New Forest ‘Brilliance in Business Awards’ last night.

The ‘Green Leaf Sustainable Business Award’, sponsored by the New Forest National Park Authority, is given to a local business that makes an outstanding effort to reduce their environmental footprint. Double H Nurseries was also the success story of the evening, winning the New Forest Business Partnership ‘Business of the Year’.

The award was presented by Alison Barnes, Chief Executive of the New Forest National Park Authority, she said: ‘We are proud to sponsor this award and delighted to be supporting local businesses to stand out through their green credentials.

‘Even though it was a tough competition Double H Nursery are worthy winners. They have worked hard to make their business sustainable and introduced a number of initiatives to improve their business environmentally, economically and socially.

‘Being named business of the year is a fantastic achievement for the company and underlines the Forest as “the place to be” to do green business.’

Neil Stevenson, Managing Director at Double H Nurseries added, ‘I am delighted that the hard work and dedication of all 108 people in our team has been recognised by this award. We have set ourselves ambitious goals for the future and this will give us added encouragement to meet the challenges ahead.’

The company recently underwent an environmental audit and have started harvesting rain water, recycling paper, plastic and card and installed light sensors. More technical environmental savings include software to ensure lorries arrive and leave full and using low emission vehicles.

Runners up in the ‘Green Leaf Sustainable Business Award’ were Careys Manor Hotel and SenSpa and Ferny Crofts Scout Activity Centre and Campsite.

For more information about the New Forest National Park Authority visit http://www.newforestnpa.gov.uk/ and for further information about the Brilliance in Business Awards go to http://www.nfbp.org.uk/

Friday, 26 November 2010

One Step Ahead - Lymington Boutique is Best New Business

Sarah Fitzgerald, owner of
In These Shoes
In These Shoes, a shoe and handbag boutique in Lymington, has been honoured as the region’s ‘Best New Business’.  The award was given at a ceremony last night by the New Forest Business Partnership.  Owner Sarah Fitzgerald was recognised for style, innovation and community inclusiveness.  In These Shoes was nominated for the award in large numbers of its customer base and judges felt Sarah’s presentation was exceptional and customer service concepts, unique and engaging.

There are currently around 680,000 majority women-owned businesses in the UK generating £45 billion to the UK economy.* Terms such as ‘mumpreneur’ are indicative of the way the business landscape is changing.   Outside of big business, kitchen-table enterprises are thriving.

Yet, against a backdrop of global recession; with familiar high street brands falling to the wayside; setting up a new retail business, might have been a daunting prospect.  In 2009, Sarah Fitzgerald, owner of ‘In These Shoes’ in Lymington, faced the fear and did it anyway.

Fitzgerald says “it was scary but we have been open for just over a year now and I love it.  We have all seen the high street change but I really wanted a showcase for our shoes, handbags and accessories and it’s something I’m really proud of.”

Sarah took the business from selling 50 pairs of her own shoes from under her stairs to family and friends, to running ‘shoe parties’ from home, to setting up the shop and guiding others to run home and shop-based shoe parties.  Sarah also now offers the shoe party plan business as a franchise opportunity for women across the UK.

In These Shoes was crowned ‘Best Loved Business in the New Forest’ by the ‘Best of’ group, earlier this year.  Sarah too was recently recognised, in the final three of the national Everywoman Specsavers award for ‘Best Female Entrepreneur’.

In These Shoes has played an increasingly important role in the community, sponsoring local charity initiatives and working with other businesses in the area to cross-promote to customers.  Nearly Well over 3000 customers have joined the mailing list, which updates shoppers with the latest news and events and offers discounted treatments on reflexology at local beauty salons.

Fitzgerald continues; “we have a wish list so that husbands and boyfriends know exactly what to buy for birthdays and Christmas and we like to say thank you to all of our customers with monthly prize draws.

Most of all, I want the shop to be engaging – we have comfy sofas and we spend time with our customers to make sure that they get the right gift.  It’s an unashamedly girly experience and it’s fun!  As a job, it’s a whirlwind but it’s also a dream come true.  I spend a lot of time at shows scouting out new season shoes and handbags so that we have something perfect and on-trend for everyone.  Looking to the future, the focus is very much on customer service but we are laying the foundations for the franchise business and like I always say, who knows what else?  In these shoes, anything could happen!”

For more information on the shop, the franchise opportunity or to find out how to run a shoe party, visit the website at http://www.intheseshoes.co.uk/

Thursday, 25 November 2010

Date for the diary -
National Park governance workshop

The New Forest National Park Authority has organised a series of four workshops to help inform people about a national review into how the governance of National Parks can be made more effective, and how National Park Authorities can strengthen links with their local communities.

The first event will be held on Tuesday 30 November from 2pm - 8pm at Brockenhurst Village Hall, Highwood Road, Brockenhurst.

Local people will have the opportunity to discuss the consultation with National Park Authority officers and members and have any questions answered.

A formal presentation and a question and answer session will also be held at 3pm and repeated at 7pm.

The Authority, which is leading the consultation locally on behalf of the Government, has also arranged the following events across the New Forest:
  • 2pm – 8pm, Tuesday 7 December, New Forest Centre, main car park, Lyndhurst;
  • 2pm – 8pm, Thursday 9 December, Landford Village Hall, Lyndhurst Road, Landford; and
  • 2pm – 8pm, Wednesday 15 December, Hyde Memorial Hall, Blissford Hill, Hyde

Julian Johnson, Chairman of the New Forest National Park Authority, said: ‘This is an extremely important consultation that affects everyone who lives in a National Park. We want to engage with as many people who have an interest in the New Forest National Park as possible to enable them to have their say. We would encourage people to attend the events and speak to one of our officers or members.’
 
The national consultation runs until 1 February 2011 and following the consultation, Government Ministers will consider if any changes are required nationally, or whether changes can be made at the local level. For more information on the governance review, including the Defra consultation document, please visit http://www.newforestnpa.gov.uk/  or www.defra.gov.uk/corporate/consult/nationalpark-governance/index.htm

Monday, 22 November 2010

Float The Boat - Launch Success

Paul & Sally Mackness
from float the boat
To continue the launch success of float the boat, the South Coast brand marketing and design studio has announced two new client wins.  These are international image consultants ‘House of Colour’ and ‘SenSpa’ – the renowned Thai Spa at New Forest hotel, Careys Manor.

Sally Mackness, Marketing Director of float the boat said “We are delighted to work with these businesses; creatively developing each brand through a range of print and web-based materials.  ‘House of Colour’ has huge potential to extend its national and international presence and a brand re-fresh is key.  SenSpa will be launching its ‘Corporate Health’ offering to businesses, ready for the new year.”

Paul and Sally Mackness launched float the boat in May of this year.  Both have an impressive background in international brand marketing, advertising and design.  Between them they have held a number of high profile roles in businesses such as Vodafone, WPP Group, Saatchi & Saatchi & Y&R, in addition to creating many campaigns for brands such as Orange, BT, Sony, Sunseeker, Unilever, Bacardi & Nokia.  Paul adds, “Clients believe our point of difference lies in the value we offer against our expertise, knowledge and effective creative.”

Sally concludes, “We manage a tightly-run studio and our client list grows month on month.  We eagerly anticipate continued business growth in 2011.”

For further information or to discuss any ideas, contact Sally at float the boat on 01425 281002 or sally@floattheboat.co.uk

Thursday, 18 November 2010

Tuck in to a Tudor Christmas Treat
Tudor Banquets at the Mary Rose Museum

Planning an office Christmas party or looking for something ‘different for dinner’ this December?  The Mary Rose museum at Portsmouth’s Historic Dockyard, is open for rousing revelry!

The World-famous museum is ideal for a drinks reception or festive feast.  Diners will be seated in the heart of the museum, surrounded by artefacts and precious finds.  Parties can choose a Tudor Banquet, complete with authentic dishes, drinks and Tudor wenches!  The experience can be set to Tudor tunes or there is room for a band.

Prior to the banquet, groups can visit the museum theatre to learn about the history, discovery and the raising of the Mary Rose.  There’s also AV equipment for end of year presentations or office awards!  Guests are invited to wander round the museum to see the treasures from the Mary Rose, with guidance from costumed interpreters.

Following the banquet, guests can take part in a Tudor gun drill with a replica breech loading gun, as a team building activity.

Tudor Banquets can accommodate up to 54 guests, formal dinners can accommodate up to 100 guests and drinks receptions are managed for up to 200 guests.

For sample menus and costs, please contact Sue Judge on 023 9281 2931 or email s.judge@maryrose.org.  Visit http://www.maryrose.org/ for information on the venue and inspiration for corporate entertainment.


Recommended Reading: The Warship "Mary Rose": The Life and Times of King Henry's VIII's Flagship

Tuesday, 16 November 2010

Top award for New Forest Centre

The New Forest Centre in Lyndhurst has proven itself to be one of the top visitor attractions in the region according to ‘the Beautiful South’ awards 2010.

The Centre was ‘highly commended’ in the ‘small visitor attraction of the year’ category aimed at smaller attractions which offer visitors a high quality experience and a series of activities as part of their visit.

Ednyfed Hudson Davies, Chairman of the Ninth Centenary Trust which owns and runs the New Forest Centre, is delighted with the award. He said: ‘The award is a great achievement for everyone who works at the Centre – their constant hard-work and dedication has paid off.’

Martin O’Neill, Director of Information and Visitor Services at the New Forest National Park Authority, added: ‘The New Forest Centre is also the National Park Visitor Centre and this award shows that it really is the perfect starting place for anyone who wants to learn more about the New Forest.’

The Centre is made up of an exhibition area supporting local artists and organisations, a gift shop and Visitor Information Centre, a New Forest reference library and the New Forest Museum which is packed full of displays, activities and a family fun tree.

For more information about the New Forest Centre and their latest events visit http://www.newforestcentre.org.uk/

Thursday, 11 November 2010

Funding help for New Forest community groups

The New Forest National Park Authority is inviting community groups to learn more about funding for environmental and community projects.

The Landfill Communities Fund provides grants to support wildlife projects or improvements to community facilities and the National Park is holding workshops to help groups match their projects to funding opportunities and put together successful applications.

A UK-wide fund, the Landfill Communities Fund aims to offset some of the negative impacts of landfill sites by allowing landfill operators to pay a proportion of their landfill tax liability to not-for-profit organisations that deliver benefits to the general public, wildlife or the environment. The funds are provided through a wide range of organisations such as BIFFA, SITA, Veolia, Wren, Cemex, Viridor, Cleansing Services Group and many others.

The one-day workshops will be held on 29 and 30 November at (Lyndhurst Community Centre and the National Park Headquarters at Everton respectively), with a few places still available on the 30 November course (from 10am – 4pm).

The day will include:
  • Details on the Landfill Communities Fund
  • What can be funded
  • Who can apply
  • The Major LCF grant-makers – who funds what
  • Best practice tips for funding applications
  • What costs are eligible / which ineligible
  • How grant applications will be assessed.

For more details contact the National Park’s External Funding Officer Kathryn Boler on 01590 646690, email Kathryn.boler@newforestnpa.gov.uk.

Tuesday, 9 November 2010

Review into National Park governance arrangements

A review has been launched today (Tuesday 9 November) by the Government to look at how National Parks are governed.

The 12-week national consultation will be facilitated at a local level by the New Forest National Park Authority, who will be encouraging local residents, groups and organisations to take part.

The review will look at ways in which the governance of National Park Authorities can be made more effective.

The Authority, who is leading the consultation locally on behalf of the Government, has arranged the following events across the New Forest for people to learn more about the review and pick up a copy of the Government’s consultation document:

  • 2pm – 8pm, Tuesday 30 November, Brockenhurst Village Hall, Highwood Road, Brockenhurst;
  • 2pm – 8pm, Tuesday 7 December, New Forest Centre, main car park, Lyndhurst;
  • 2pm – 8pm, Thursday 9 December, Landford Village Hall, Lyndhurst Road, Landford; and
  • 2pm – 8pm, Wednesday 15 December, Hyde Memorial Hall, Blissford Hill, Hyde

As well as making material available for people to read and discuss with Authority officers and members, a formal presentation and question and answer session will be held at 3pm and repeated at 7pm at each venue on these dates.

Julian Johnson, Chairman of the New Forest National Park Authority, said: ‘This is an extremely important consultation that affects everyone who lives in a National Park. We want to engage with as many people who have an interest in the New Forest National Park as possible to enable them to have their say. We would encourage people to attend the events and speak to one of our officers or members.’

The review includes whether any changes should be made to the membership of National Park Authorities, which was originally established in the Environment Act 1995.

In line with this Act, the New Forest National Park Authority currently has 22 members, consisting of 12 members appointed by the local authorities with land in the National Park (Hampshire County Council, Wiltshire Council, New Forest District Council and Test Valley Borough Council); four members appointed by the Town and Parish Councils within the National Park; and six appointed by the Government through an open recruitment process.

The national consultation runs until 1 February 2011 and following the consultation, Government Ministers will consider if any changes are required nationally, or whether changes can be made at the local level. For more information on the governance review, including the Defra consultation document, please visit http://www.newforestnpa.gov.uk/  or www.defra.gov.uk/corporate/consult/nationalpark-governance/index.htm

Thursday, 4 November 2010

New Forest autumn colour rivals Canadian fall

Autumn in the New Forest National Park has brought with it one of the most spectacular displays of leaf colour in the last 80 years.

Autumn colour, New Forest National Park
Photograph by Martin O'Neill

Great areas of the New Forest are blazing with red, brown, yellow and orange hues thanks to its unique balance of ancient, ornamental and native trees.

New Forest National Park Authority member Roger Heape has just returned from Canada and has been amazed by the New Forest’s autumn colour. He says: ‘I have just spent three weeks in Canada ‘leaf peeping’ its word-famous autumn colour but I have to say I was left disappointed. The colours in the New Forest this year are unprecedented.’

Bryan Wilson, the New Forest National Park Authority’s Senior Tree Officer, said: ‘I always find the contrast between the dark evergreen conifers and the golden tints of broadleaf trees make a stunning sight. Some of the most glorious colours are produced by our native Beech, Oak, Field Maple, Rowan, Wild Cherry, Willow and Poplar.’

If you are thinking about exploring the New Forest this autumn start your visit at the New Forest Centre in Lyndhurst. There you can learn about the Forest’s unique history and see first-hand its ‘family fun tree’, to discover what creepy crawlies live in the New Forest and learn what animals are owned by commoners. For more information about opening times and exhibitions at the Centre visit http://www.newforestcentre.org.uk/