Second award for Louise
A Yorkshire Dales National Park Authority staff member is pleased as punch after scooping a second award in two years.
Louise Williams, who is the Authority's Limestone Country Project Officer, was presented with a trophy by Ilkley-born TV personality Alan Titchmarsh after beating off competition to win a top prize in the inaugural Yorkshire Rural Awards organised by the Dalesman magazine.
The 28-year-old has spent the last four years setting up and then running the project which sees her working 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.
After winning the Young Achievement Award category Louise, who lives in Leeds, said: "I'm completely shocked - I never expected this.
"I'm sure it's down to working on such a fantastic project with so many good partners like the National Park Authority and the local farmers. It makes me realise how lucky I am to have such a brilliant job in such a wonderful place."
Terry Fletcher, Editor of Dalesman and Chairman of the Judging Panel, said: "Louise was an absolutely outstanding candidate for the award. It's impossible not to be carried along by her enthusiasm.
"She has been the driving force behind such a worthwhile project. It is something that has made a tremendous difference not just to the landscape of the National Park but also to the livelihoods of Dales farmers who are absolutely crucial to the preservation of the landscape and the way of life of the area."
The awards, backed by leading Yorkshire companies and senior business people, are the only family of accolades devoted exclusively to the Yorkshire countryside and have been set up to highlight the people and businesses who are leading its rural revival.
In May, 2005, Louise's work with the Limestone Country Project earned her another accolade when she was picked as joint winner of the Ken Willson Award, set up by the Yorkshire Dales Society and the Craven branch of the Campaign to Protect Rural England in memory of the Addingham campaigner who died in 2003.
The award aims to recognise the work of people under 30 who have made an important contribution to the Yorkshire Dales.