Rural Britain: a vision for 2020

What do you think rural Britain will be like in 2020?  How would you like to see it change?  What should we be preserving?

Simon Berry, Chief Executive of ruralnet|uk, has set up a website for people to voice their opinions on the matter with a view to creating a collective vision for the future of rural Britain.  Rural Britain: a 2020 Vision was launched at the recent ruralnet|uk and Action for Market Towns event ‘Future Choices – Live & Local’ and has already received hundreds of contributions.

In this video, Simon explains a little more about the idea and what makes a collective vision important:

Rural Britain – a 2020 vision from ruralnetuk on Vimeo.

Visions and aspirations added so far include:

  • Greater opportunities for young people to improve their basic life skills, education and employment opportunities
  • Free wireless internet connectivity everywhere
  • Greater local autonomy and responsibility for providing local services

To have your say, visit the Rural Britain: a 2020 vision website, where you can take a look at the contributions made so far, comment on them and make your own contibution to this collective vision.

Posted under Countryside Organisations

This post was written by Lucy on October 28, 2008

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Good Pheasant Recipe

To mark the beginning of the UK pheasant shooting season, I wanted to share a delicious pheasant recipe given to me by game chef Mark Gilchrist of Game for Everything.  When doing a tour of Great Britain last year, visiting interesting rural entrepreneurs, Emma and I were lucky enough to have Mark cook this for us at Game for Everything HQ in Kent.

It was so delicious that, after taking up shooting last season, I decided to put it to good use on my first ever phesant – yummy!

My first pheasant

My first pheasant

Mark’s Tarragon Pheasant

(Serves 4 – giving a leg and a breast each)

Mark cooking up a storm

Mark cooking up a storm

500g celery (leaves and all), washed

500g carrots, unpeeled

500g onions, chopped and peeled

6 cloves of garlic, chopped and peeled

2 pheasants, quarters

6 large baking potatoes (skins scored around the middle)

1 pint single cream


Fresh tarragon

½ bottle of white wine (33cl)

Goose fat or olive oil


  1. Heat the oven to 180C.
  2. Chop all the vegetables and place then in a baking tin.
  3. Place the pheasant on top and pour over the wine.
  4. Cover with tin foil and cook for one hour until the pheasant is soft. At the same time, bake the potatoes in a separate dish.
  5. When cooked, crisp up the skin of the pheasant in a frying pan using goose fat or olive oil.
  6. Whizz the cooked vegetables in a blender, adding the cream, tarragon, salt and black pepper to make a sauce.
  7. Spoon out the insides of the baked potatoes and heat quickly in a frying pan with cream, butter and salt and pepper. This makes the best mashed potato you’ll ever taste.
  8. Dollop a bit of the mashed potato on each plate, place the pheasant wing and breast on top and pour some of the sauce around the potato. Season to taste and add a sprig of tarragon on the top to make it look pretty.
Et voila!

Et voila!

For other good pheasant recipes, try the Game’s On pages on the BASC website.

Posted under BASC, Food, Game, Pheasant, Recipes, Shooting, Shooting seasons

This post was written by Lucy on October 1, 2008

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More Cider with Roger

Earlier in the month I posted an entry called Cider with Roger encouraging you to visit Land’s End Farm, where Roger Wilkins produces his famous farmhouse cider.  By coincidence, I recently stumbled across a video about him and I just had to share it with you.

This beautifully shot film is the perfect antidote to a stressful day:

Posted under Awards, Countryside Organisations, Places to Visit, Things to Do

This post was written by Lucy on September 27, 2008

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Nominate Your Rural Hero

Support the countryside community by making your nominations for The Countryside Alliance Awards.  Formally known as the Best Rural Retailer competition, these awards were borne of a need to support and promote our rural communities and are now in their fourth year.

The categories for the Awards, which you can vote on from 1st September, are as follows:

  1. Best Local Food Award
  2. Best Village Shop/Post Office Award
  3. Rural Enterprise Award (formerly the diversification category)*
  4. Daily Telegraph Best Traditional Business Award
  5. Rural Hero (NEW to 2008 – they want to hear about anyone heroic, no matter their age, line of work or what their heroic deeds)

They will also be naming the politicians of the year and inviting suggestions in the following categories from September:

  1. The Grassroots Award for community campaigning (open to Councillors, devolved bodies and the UK and Irish Parliaments)
  2. The Westminster Award for bringing the countryside to Parliament
  3. The Rural Vision Award, for the politician with the countryside’s future at heart (open to Councillors, devolved bodies and the UK and Irish Parliaments)

The competition was launched in 2005 with 600 nominations.  In 2006, 2,000 nominations were made and last year they received 2,500.  If you would like to get involved and make this the best year yet, you can NOMINATE HERE.

The closing date for nominations is  27th October 2008.

*Anyone want to vote for Muddy Matches, feel free (hehe)!

Posted under Awards, Countryside Alliance, Countryside Organisations, Rural businesses

This post was written by Lucy on September 10, 2008

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