District wins big at night of rural talents

Rebecca and Richard Burniston (right) receive their award from the award sponsor and Harry Gration. (S)
Rebecca and Richard Burniston (right) receive their award from the award sponsor and Harry Gration. (S)

The winners of The Yorkshire Post’s 2018 Rural Awards were announced at Pavilions of Harrogate last week and included some worthy local winners.

After a long, hot summer of hard work, farmers, rural business-owners, community volunteers and countryside professionals came together on Thursday night for the grand finale of the awards, which were sponsored by Bishop Burton College and hosted by BBC broadcaster Harry Gration.

The Lifetime Achievement Award went to Harrogate dairy farmer Bill Cowling, who was Honorary Show Director of the Great Yorkshire Show for 10 years and received the same accolade at the Harrogate Advertiser Series Business Awards in 2015.

The winner of the Community Group of the Year was Tadcrafters CIC, which meets up in Tadcaster to turn recycled and reused materials into craftwork that they then give away to worthy causes.

Finally, the prestigious award for Farmer of the Year went to Rebecca and Richard Burniston of Fiddlers Green Farm at Hartwith, near Brimham Rocks. They are not only sheep farmers, but they also run Riggmoor Reindeer, which is in great demand during the run-up to Christmas, and visit schools throughout Yorkshire with their mobile petting farm to educate children about farming.

Mr Burniston said: “I was gobsmacked when our name was read out – the competition was so big that I didn’t think we stood a chance.

“It was such a surprise, but we’re really, really proud of this.”