A CUMBRIAN farm has been named a winner in the North West’s rural answer to the Oscars.
Sillfield Farm at Endmoor, was awarded the title of joint local food winner in the annual Countryside Alliance Awards.
Peter Gott, farmer and owner, said: “I’m chuffed to bits and gobsmacked, I hadn’t a clue.
“But we specialise in wild boar which is a niche market, and produce high quality food, so after 40 years it’s nice to be recognised for your commit-ment to what you do.”
The Rural Oscars, as they are also known, is an annual celebration of rural produce, skills, enterprise and heritage through small hard-working businesses. And although Mr Gott did not know he had been nominated, he believed he had been put forward by the late-Clarissa Dixon Wright, of Two Fat Ladies fame.
“She was well known to us and to Cumbria, and she did ring me in October and said would you mind if I nominate you,” said Mr Gott.
A farmer for 33 years, Mr Gott sells his wild boar and Herdwick sheep products at Borough Market, London, and closer to home at markets in Milnthorpe and Barrow.
Mr Gott, a wild boar specialist for 20 years, said he valued traceability and believed it was important that people should understand the process of ‘field to fork’.
Now in its year, and claimed to have become the definitive rural business accolade, the awards are split into four categories including Local Food, Village shop, Butcher Champion and Start Up.
And, this year Start Up is sponsored by Cumbria’s very own Hawkshead Relish.
Kate Nicholson, of Hawkshead relish, said: “The Countryside Alliance has a strong association with small rural based businesses that have the passion for the provenance, flavour and the countryside that is so important to us here at Hawkshead Relish. Sillfield Farm, along with other North West champions, will now go forward into the running for the UK and Northern Ireland final due to take place at Parliament in Westminster on April 30.
Mr Gott added: “I’m a Cumbrian pig farmer, so whatever I get is what I get.”