Award shortlist for Louise Williams
A SCHEME to see traditional cattle breeds re-introduced to the fells of the Yorkshire Dales has seen a National Park Authority officer short-listed for a top accolade.
The inaugural Yorkshire Rural Awards are organised by the Dalesman magazine and backed by leading Yorkshire companies and senior business people.
They are the only family of awards devoted exclusively to the Yorkshire countryside and have been set up to highlight the people and businesses who are leading its rural revival.
Louise Williams, who is the Authority's Limestone Country Project Officer, has been short listed in the Young Achievement Award category, sponsored by United Co-operative Sunwin Motor Group.
Louise, 28, works with local farmers to re-introduce traditional, hardy breeds of cattle to the limestone uplands around Ingleborough, Malham and Wharfedale, helping to restore 2,000 hectares of internationally important habitats.
The Limestone Country project has been extremely successful, all its targets have been met or exceeded, and the value of Louise's contribution to the area goes beyond the income generated or the environmental improvements. In the aftermath of foot and mouth, she has played a part in restoring a positive feeling about the future of upland farming and why it matters so much in Yorkshire.
Louise, who lives in Leeds, said: "I'm really surprised at being nominated - it's a real privilege. I have enjoyed being involved in this project because of the beautiful landscape of the Yorkshire Dales and the fact that I've been working in partnership with the local farmers - who have been pivotal in the success of this project."
These awards celebrate the enterprise, vitality and the vibrancy to be found in the rural community
Terry Fletcher - Editor of Dalesman
Terry Fletcher, Editor of Dalesman, and Chairman of the Judging Panel, said "We at Dalesman are very aware of the importance which rural people and businesses make to the economy of the county and its wellbeing. That is why we felt that something like the Yorkshire Rural Awards was long overdue.
"Being firmly rooted in the countryside we were already aware of the tremendous success stories to be found here but even we have been astonished by the number and the quality of the nominations.
"These awards celebrate the enterprise, vitality and the vibrancy to be found in the rural community and it has been very difficult to pick the winners from such a high quality entry. Everyone on the shortlist is already a hero."
Award winners will be announced by Yorkshire born television presenter Alan Titchmarsh at a gala dinner in Harrogate Pavilion on Thursday May 10.