Nettlecombe scoops top tourism prize at Rural Business Awards
this is in from Nettlecombe Farm
Isle of Wight farm-stay, Nettlecombe Farm, has been named The Best Rural Tourism Business after winning national final of this year’s Rural Business Award.
Rural businesses from across Britain are celebrating following the Rural Business Awards’ National Final, held on 27th February at the exceptional grade II heritage building, The Monastery.
The awards aim to recognise and celebrate the successes of businesses operating in the UK’s rural economy; a sector which in England alone contributes £261bn to the nation’s GVA (Gross Value Added) – nearly a fifth of the country’s total economic activity.
‘The Rural Business Awards shines a much-deserved spotlight on the innovators, creators and inventors in rural communities across the UK and it’s great to celebrate their successes at this year’s national final, the caliber of businesses entering this year’s awards has been higher than ever. I’d like to congratulate all the winners and nominees and wish them continued success for the future.’Doug Gurr, UK Country Manager, Amazon
Twelve category winners were announced, following hundreds of entrants, a competitive shortlist process and a series of regional presentations. The winner of the Best Rural Tourism Business was Isle of Wight-based business, Nettlecombe Farm.
Speaking after winning the award, owner of Nettlecombe Farm, Jose Morris said:
‘We’re delighted to have won this prestigious award. I take it as recognition of how hard all the member of our team at Nettlecombe Farm work to give our guests a unique experience during their stay with us. Nettlecombe Farm has been in my family for generations. So many rural businesses face difficult choices between working the land, conserving our precious environment and making a living. By opening the farm to guests, visitors and educational trips we have, so far, navigated that balance. I hope that we can continue to give people a fully immersive experience of a working farm and the rural way of life for generations to come. I’d particularly like to thank the team at the Rural Business Awards for their support and recognition.’
Anna Price, who co-founded the RBAs, alongside Jemma Clifford, said:
‘The 2019/20 Rural Business Awards has been our best year yet, and our work to promote the rural sector would not be possible without the support of Amazon and our other sponsors. The caliber of entries this year was exceptional, so we’d like to wish a hearty congratulations to all our winners. We’re inspired by all of our national finalists, but the judges were particularly impressed by Nettlecombe Farm, and we can’t wait to see what they do next.’
Key facts about Nettlecombe Farm
· Nettlecombe Farm is a working farm that offers luxurious self-catering holiday accommodation, coarse fishing and regular yoga retreats.
· The farm, which has been in the Morris family for over a century is now staffed by 90% women which is pretty uncommon for a rural / farming business.
· We have a strong focus on Green travel and have been awarded Gold in the Green star award from Visit Isle of Wight for providing sustainable transport options to visit our farm encouraging car free holidays, along with installing an electric car charging point for our guests to use.
· Over 60 % of our bookings are repeat or from word of mouth referrals.
· We have no fewer than nine converted self-catering properties, three coarse fishing lakes as well opportunities for guests to meet and feed the residents, including alpacas, donkeys, goats and reindeer.
· The farm is well loved by guests whose feedback year after year has meant they have kept their place in the TripAdvisor Hall of Fame and won awards this year for the ‘cosiest hideaway’ and the ‘best place for a shindig’ in the Red Funnel ‘My Isle of Wight awards’.