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The Clarissa Dickson Wright Award goes to the family-run Peelham Farm

The Clarissa Dickson Wright Award went to the family-run Peelham Farm, a mixed organic farm in the Scottish Borders concerned with preserving rare breeds, encouraging education at all levels (from school age to butchery). L-R Lord Walton, Chris Walton, Environment Secretary Liz Truss, Denise Walton, Angus Walton, Peter Gott of Sillfield Farm who helps select the Award and is a former winner. — at House Of Lords, Houses Of Parliament.

 

Peelham Farm, the family-run mixed farm based at Foulden in Berwickshire, has been honoured with the second annual Clarissa Dickson Wright Award for contribution to food, farming and education.

The Award, set up to carry on the legacy of the late cook, author and “Two Fat Ladies” broadcaster Clarissa Dickson Wright, was presented at the Houses of Parliament on 4th February.

Clarissa’s great friend, Baroness Mallalieu, who is President of the Countryside Alliance, presented the Award to Denise and Chris Walton from Peelham at a Parliamentary reception for the Countryside Alliance awards this week. Baroness Mallalieu helped to select Peelham as the winners, based on criteria Clarissa herself had set.

Baroness Mallalieu told the Parliamentary reception: “We have been mindful of what mattered most to Clarissa, namely a focus on strong animal husbandry, support for slow and artisan food and a platform for the efforts being made to foster our farming heritage through measures such as protecting rare breeds.

With this in mind, our winner’s philosophy fits the bill. They practice ‘sustainable self-reliance’ and their motto is ‘Love the land, love the animal, love their meat’. Peelham Farm is located in Berwickshire, Southern Scotland. A family-run organic mixed farm, it is perched on the water-shed between the lower reaches of Whiteadder Water and the Eye Water, with panoramic views of the Tweed Valley and the North Sea.

“As an integrated organic farm butcher business they have skilled-up staff to handle the rigorous quality assurance, animal welfare and transparency expectations of the organic system to produce quality products with trusted provenance. Peelham Farm’s own “Meat Manifesto” is an initiative of which Clarissa would have approved enormously. A guarantee of quality the manifesto states that Peelham Farm produce “is good, clean and fair”. It goes on to explain what “good, clean and fair” means in husbandry, environmental and slow-reared taste terms, highlighting the fact that Peelham animals are able to express their natural foraging and grazing characteristics.

“Education is a key part of the ethos and Peelham hosts several schools visits each year, working closely with the Royal Highland Education Trust and encouraging people to learn where their food comes from via butchery courses.

“A proudly ethical approach also means veal is no longer off the menu: field-raised calves live free-range with their mothers for around nine months, producing a ruby veal that is both delicious and compassionate

“Peelham also regularly have veterinary, agricultural and culinary skills students on work-placements with them, where they learn about all of aspects of farming and food production.

The Countryside Alliance Awards (aka the Rural Oscars) have celebrated their tenth anniversary at Parliament with the Environment Secretary, the Rt Hon Liz Truss MP, presenting four Champion of Champions prizes to former UK & Ireland title holders. The winners were voted for in a public vote with all previous UK and Ireland Champions competing. Over 35,000 votes were polled.

The Environment Secretary, the Rt Hon Liz Truss MP, commented: “This event is a brilliant opportunity to showcase our rural heroes who promote the best our countryside has to offer, helping to build a stronger economy.

 

 

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