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Boost for badge of pride in the Peak

This is an archived press release

Monday 13 June 2005

13 June 2005

Boost for badge of pride in the Peak

An award scheme recognising businesses that conserve the Peak District is expanding.

The Peak District Environmental Quality Mark (EQM) has won backing for further growth after becoming a sought-after award by businesses, including shops, caterers, butchers, pubs, farms and guest houses, that care for their Peak District environment.

Operating by the highest environment-friendly standards, more than 30 businesses can now advertise the fact that they hold the EQM. And after the success of its three-year pilot scheme, EQM's funders, the Countryside Agency, English Nature, Derby & Derbyshire Economic Partnership and the Peak District National Park Authority, are all happy to see it continue.

EQM project officer Faith Johnson said: "Businesses have said they are beginning to feel economic benefits from being part of the scheme. They also value the social rewards of networking and trading with like-minded businesses. There is a growing list of applications for the award - the EQM is starting to become a recognisable brand for local products and services that show genuine care for the Peak District environment.

"But there is still a great deal to do. Over the next three years the project partners want the EQM scheme to grow in order to achieve greater environmental benefits for the Peak District."

This second phase will include:
* more promotion of the EQM scheme to increase awareness among businesses and the public
* a drive to increase the number of participating businesses
* the possibility of more award categories
* closer links with existing environmental schemes
* research to evaluate the costs and benefits of EQM
* developing a plan for running a mature EQM scheme.

"We want the EQM to be something lasting," said Jon Stewart of English Nature, "a brand that customers recognise and respect and an award that delivers strong local businesses and a healthy Peak District environment."

Other national parks and protected areas are interested in following the Peak District's lead and it is hoped the scheme will eventually spread nationwide.

For more information about the EQM, the award holders, or to request a copy of the report, please contact Faith Johnson at 01629 816321 or email: faith.johnson@peakdistrict.gov.uk or visit the website www.peakdistrict.org/eqm

This is an archived press release

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