A NEW Cotswolds farm shop was the location as the Campaign to Protect Rural England (CPRE) in Gloucestershire promoted its 2018 Rural Excellence Awards scheme.

Last week CPRE Gloucestershire was at Vegetable Matters in Ebrington.

Amanda and Peter Drinkwater, co-founders of Vegetable Matters, who received a CPRE Award last year said: “People seem really keen to re-engage with the idea of ‘Field to Fork’ shops, as opposed to supermarkets, choosing local produce themselves and asking us about how best to store and cook it.”

Most of the vegetables and fruit sold come from fields local to Ebrington.

“At a time when small Cotswold town high streets are losing local, affordable produce shops, as well as employment opportunities, we believe Vegetable Matters is a showcase for the kind of rural development we want to support.

"The idea of ‘Field to Fork’ has begun to resonate with a public who want to know where their food has come from and who want to be sure they are supporting their local farmers and economy,” commented Richard Lloyd Vice-Chair of CPRE Gloucestershire.

“We are here to promote and support local enterprises and employers like Vegetable Matters.” The shop is now employing 10 people.

CPRE Gloucestershire Rural Excellence awards are in their eleventh year.

The aim of the awards is to encourage, and recognise, rural developments that show an outstanding contribution to local environments, economies and communities.

2017 Award recipients reflect the wide variety of rural developments supported by CPRE.

The other award holders from last year were the Westonbirt Arboretum, Stoke Orchard Community Centre, Minchinhampton RFC Clubhouse, Kingswood Allotments, Horsley Play Project, Dursley Tree House, Little Pinnolds holiday cottage, Plusterwine and Alvington Saltmarsh Project and the Ham Mill Lock restoration.

CPRE is a 90-year-old charity dedicated to the protection of the rural landscape and rural life for future generations.

The Gloucestershire Branch works to protect, promote and enhance our county towns and countryside by influencing planning policy, supporting the views, and work, of those who life in rural locations and ensuring land is not lost forever to poor quality development.

Nominations for 2018 are now welcome and forms can be requested from CPRE Gloucestershire on 01452 309783 or on the website www.cpreglos.org.uk