This is an archived press release

Tuesday 27 April 2004

27 April 2004


The Peak District Environmental Quality Mark (EQM) scheme has been judged one of the best environmental schemes in the UK.

The EQM scheme was 'one of the best runners up' out of 185 entries in the annual 'Business Commitment to the Environment' (BCE) awards - believed to be the world's oldest environmental awards founded nearly 30 years ago. The awards only go to British businesses that can demonstrate exceptional commitment to the environment. Previous winners include the Eden Project in 2001.

The National Park Authority's Director of National Projects Ken Parker, said: "We're delighted, especially as the competiton was extremely tough. This national recogntion from BCE is a big pat on the back for all the businesses that hold the Environmental Quality Mark. It's a great way of congratulating their efforts and commitment to the environment."

The BCE judges selected 70 outstanding entries to visit - including the Peak District entry. Two EQM holders demonstrated the scheme. James Armstrong, of New Close Farm Shop, who manages his farm to conserve its special features including grasslands, dry stone walling and traditional buildings, showed his home reared beef, pork and lamb products and free range eggs. The Original Farmers' Market Shop Limited in Bakewell, presented their range of fare from local farms and producers within the National Park, which included goods from other EQM holders.

The Peak District Environmental Quality Mark scheme is run by the National Park Authority and funded by the Countryside Agency, East Midlands Development Agency and English Nature, as well as the Authority. It identifies products and businesses that conserve the landscape and livelihoods in the Peak District. Since its launch last year 27 quality mark certificates have been awarded to local farms, food & drink, arts & crafts and accommodation services that link back to high quality management of the local environment.


In the same week, EQM holders said "goodbye" to EQM Project Officer Victoria Coates and "hello" to her successor Faith Johnson. Victoria had seen the scheme through from its initial inception, turning the concept into reality to its current position with 25 businesses on board. She is emigrating to the USA.

Faith (28) hails from Birmingham but has lived in Sheffield for 10 years and has enjoyed walking in the Peak District most of her life. She is an Associate member of the Institute of Environmental Management & Assessment and is on the IEMA North-East Regional Steering Group. She has worked in the environmental field since 1998 including for Wilbourn Associates Chartered Environmental Surveyors where she gave contaminated land and environmental management consultancy for property investors and wrote guidance on environmental management for Chartered Surveyors, available online at She studied Plant Sciences at Sheffield University, specialising in botany and ecology.

This is an archived press release

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