PEOPLE in South Lakeland who helped protect the future of two well-known community institutions have been rewarded for their hard work.
The Greyhound Inn, at Grizebeck, was named Best Traditional Business for the north west at the Countryside Alliance Awards, while the family-run Farletonview Fishery, at Crooklands, won the Best Rural Enterprise Award.
Both businesses will now go forward to the national final next month to battle it out against other UK firms.
Last year, the Grizebeck residents joined forces to to breathe new life into their local pub, which was set to close, and have taken it on to another level to once again become the hub of local community activity.
Committee member Martin Salter-Smith said: “Last January we were almost resigned to losing our local pub, but receiving this award feels like some sort of recognition of all the hard work the local community has put in to stop that happening.
“It shows that sometimes if we wish to save local services, whether public toilets, tourist offices, post offices, village shops, village halls – or indeed pubs – we need to pull together as communities and do it for ourselves.”
Regarding the pub, regional judge Jill Grieve said: “This shows what a community can do by working together. This is a fantastic model under which many more threatened pubs across the country could be saved by and for their communities.”
The Robinson family has diversified their sheep and dairy farm at Farletonview to create a thriving fishery, caravan park, nursery and tea rooms serving local produce Christine Robinson, who runs the business with son Simon and daughter Julie, explained: “We diversified because of how farming has become more of a struggle and after my husband Frank had some operations on his ankles which meant he was unable to farm anymore.
“We have achieved what we wanted to because it has gone well and we have a good lifestyle for the family. We are really pleased about the award and we’d love to know who nominated us as we’d like to thank them.”
Mrs Grieve added: “I loved Farletonview. What a warm and welcoming place it is, and a great example of a family’s determination to keep their farm going. This is a great farm diversification that has become so much more than the sum of its parts.
It has wriggled out of being a farming disaster and has become a champion for local produce, angling and also tourism, harnessing the best of this beautiful county.”