As our national final is two weeks away, we think it is the perfect time to get to know the businesses vying for our coveted national awards. Over the next few weeks we will be taking a look at each of our twelve categories in turn, from Best Rural Start Up all the way through to the Triumph Over Adversity award.

Each national finalist has already won the award for their category in their own region. We think they’re all fantastic rural businesses, but who will our judges declare to be the cream of the crop?

Find out more about each of the business in with a chance of winning the national Best Rural Recreational or Outdoor Pursuits Business Award below. This award is sponsored by Rural Solutions.


Ark Farm Limited – East Region

Ark Farm Limited specialise in bringing a variety of friendly farm animals into schools, nurseries and preschools, delivering a real hands-on educational and tactile experience for children of all ages. Ark Farm is a small family-run smallholding business where animals grow up in an environment surrounded by family and staff who have a genuine interest in animals, their welfare and helping other people learn and understand more about livestock and caring for animals. They are not a commercial farm, they do not supply any produce or meat to the food trade and none of their animals are specifically trained.


Avalanche Adventure Limited – Midlands Region

Avalanche Adventure is a mainly vehicle-focused, outdoor activities centre, based in rural South Leicestershire. The adventures and activities offered to customers span a 400-acre site, which is a marvellous chance to engage visitors in something different. After all, for many that visit the countryside setting is exactly that. At its core Avalanche Adventure is about getting people involved in outdoor pursuits that are challenging, thrilling and, most importantly, provide an experience that resonates.

It’s a venue that aims to be inclusive as possible, spectators accompanying customers are most welcome to be a part of any visit.


Newlands Adventure Centre – North Region

Newlands Adventure Centre and Keswick Climbing Wall offers outdoor activity adventures and experiences for school trips, groups, families and individuals. Thousands of people have taken the ‘Newlands Challenge’, often experiencing what the outdoors can offer for the first time.

Typical visitors are schools and families – the centre has developed taster introductory and improver sessions in 15 different activities, all designed to give participants an exciting experience in the great outdoors.

Newlands is always looking forward: making sure its future is as solid as its past; developing and changing with the times without losing its core values of safety and fun.


The Outdoors Group – South West Region

The Outdoors Group specialise in outdoor learning, education, forest school, training and corporate team building days across five forest school sites in Devon. Since their inception in 2009, their philosophy and practice has developed and evolved in accordance with the needs of attendees. Their staff are experienced forest school leaders with a love of the outdoors and a passion for using the natural environment to inspire, educate and nurture. As the team has grown in both number and experience, their ethos and practice has remained true; providing the space for attendees to play, explore, discover and learn.


Wild Bushcraft Company – Wales and Northern Ireland Region

The Wild Bushcraft Company offers a range of outdoor, bushcraft and survival skills courses, ranging from half day bushcraft sessions to four-day knife-making and bow making courses. They work with everyone from schools and youth groups, corporates, and families, to stag and hen parties and holidaymakers. They are based in North Wales but operate across the UK from the lochs of Scotland to the woods of the New Forest in Hampshire. Founded in 2010, they have become specialists in wild deer and game butchery courses. Indeed, their unique ‘Stalk to Fork’ course is the only course of its kind in the country.


Winchester Golf Academy – South East Region

Winchester Golf Academy is a golf driving range, golf retail business and teaching academy incorporating the latest technology. It was purpose built in 2015 and has just completed 4 years of trading. In that time, it has become recognised as one of the leading ranges in the country, according to BBC 5live. The team pride themselves on catering for all ages and abilities and have introduced a significant number of new players to the game of golf. They have also introduced a bistro which has won a number of awards as one of the best of its kind in the area.


Which business will be triumphant? Find out on 27th February! We’ll be posting the results on our Twitter and Facebook channels, so you can follow along there. All that’s left is to wish the very best of luck to the businesses vying for the Rural Solutions-sponsored National Best Rural Recreational or Outdoor Pursuits Business Award, as well as all of our other national finalists.

To see the full list of finalists or find more information on the National Final, go to www.ruralbusinessawards.co.uk/national

If you think your business has a shot at winning Best Rural Recreational or Outdoor Pursuits Business, or one of our other awards, why not enter the 2020/21 Rural Business Awards? Learn more at www.ruralbusinessawards.co.uk/enter-2020

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