Monday, 27 April 2015

Lamb deaths prompt appeal to dog owners from Croots Farm Shop

Derbyshire farm shop owner Steve Croot has urged dog owners to keep their pets on leads after three of his lambs died in two days following suspected attacks from dogs. 
Steve feared that his flock may have contracted an illness or disease when he discovered the dead lambs. But after a post mortem examination on the third animal by a vet, it appears that the animals had been attacked, said Steve. 
He has now posted notices on the public footpath that crosses the field at Farnah House Farm, Wirksworth Road, near Duffield, where he keeps the sheep, appealing to owners to keep their dogs on leads. 
Steve, a dog owner himself, said: “After finding three dead lambs in two days I wondered if we had a disease so I had a post mortem carried out on the third animal and the vet confirmed there were puncture marks in the skin and said it was a dog that had attacked it. It wasn’t a fox that was responsible because foxes tend to chew their victims. 
“I am a dog owner and dog lover myself, and I know that the vast majority of dog owners are very responsible and would hate to think their pet had caused the death of a lamb. I’ve read about cases recently reported by Nottinghamshire Wildlife Trust in which dogs, some as old as 11, had attacked sheep, having never done it before. The attacks very much came out of the blue and their owners were distraught. However well behaved a dog is, at the end of the day it’s an animal and it can behave unpredictably. 
“The best way to avoid anything like this happening is for anyone out walking their dog in the countryside to please keep their animals under control, on a lead, when there are sheep and lambs around.” 
Steve’s flock delivered 100 lambs this spring, with the animals grazing around the fields close to Croots Farm Shop. He breeds and rears the lambs to sell in the farm shop. 
It is against the law to let a dog be dangerously out of control anywhere. A court can decide that your dog is dangerously out of control if it injures someone’s animal.
Press release issued by Nottingham PR company Perfect 10 PR

HMS Belfast success flies the flag for Nottinghamshire businesses

A project which saw four Nottingham companies design and build the new visitor centre for London's iconic HMS Belfast, part of Imperial War Museums, has been shortlisted for a prestigious national award.  
CPMG Architects and Focus Consultants have been selected as finalists in the Tourism and Leisure category of the RICS Awards and will be attending an awards ceremony in London on 30 April 2015 on behalf of project partners Couch Perry Wilkes and Price & Myers.  
The RICS Awards selects the very best inspirational initiatives in land, property and construction and the environment and recognises the very best work across the capital city.  
HMS Belfast's new visitor centre and Quayside Pavilion opened in 2013 to mark its 75th anniversary combining better access for schools and group visits with a cutting edge rooftop bar and cafe.  
Nick Gregory, director for CPMG Architects said: "We're absolutely thrilled to be shortlisted for this award and to be recognised for our designs for the iconic HMS Belfast visitor centre. It's not every day you're asked to bring your expertise to a London landmark on the River Thames, so this project was really something special. We're proud to be part of the four-strong team made of Focus Consultants, Couch Perry Wilkes and Price & Myers to fly the flag for Nottingham and keep part of our heritage alive for the tourism industry." 
Eleanor Clarke, associate at Focus Consultants also commented: "We're so proud to have project managed an expert team from Nottingham which transformed HMS Belfast on behalf of  Imperial War Museums. The improvements have seen the Second World War Royal Navy Warship become one of the most popular tourist attractions in the capital city.” 
The visitor centre was transformed to include a ground floor cafe and dramatic rooftop bar as part of its reopening in 2013 in conjunction with the ship's 75th anniversary.  
The Nottingham project team is up against seven other finalists in the tourism and leisure category including HM Tower of London, The Glass Mill Leisure Centre, British Museum World Conservation and Exhibition Centre, Lee Valley Hockey and Tennis Centre, New Pavillion Portico at The Kia Oval, Lambeth, Beefeater Gin Visitor Centre in Lambeth and Terminal 2, The Queen’s Terminal. 
The award’s eight categories are: building conservation, commercial, community benefit, design through innovation, infrastructure, regeneration, residential, tourism and leisure. The event will be taking place at the Lancaster London Hotel and will be hosted by comedian Mark Watson. 

Friday, 24 April 2015

Hat trick of awards for Croots Farm Shop’s steak

Derbyshire farm shop Croots has scored success with its steak once more after winning two new awards. 
Earlier this year the farm shop at Farnah House Farm, Wirksworth Road, Duffield, scooped a silver in England’s Best Sirloin Steak 2015 competition. 
Now the team of butchers at the farm shop have gone one better and won a gold medal for the Croots Rib Eye on the Bone in the Innovative Butchery Category of the awards. 
The farm shop also heard it had scooped a silver in England’s Best Steak Pie category run as part of the competition organised by EBLEX, the trade organisation for the English beef and sheep industry. 
All three awards were part of the first ever Quality Standard Mark Excellence Awards, which were developed to recognise and reward quality, innovation and excellence in beef and lamb production. 
Hugh Judd, of EBLEX, said of the Croots rib eye on the bone: “The standard of innovative entries was incredibly high ….I do hope you take pride in the fact that your innovative steak product achieved a Gold Award.” 
Store owner Steve Croot, who is the current Derbyshire Food Hero, said: “We are incredibly proud to have won these awards for our steaks and for our luxury steak pies, which are prepared on the premises by our team of butchers. We get great feedback from our customers and are delighted that the judges in the EBLEX Quality Standard Mark Excellence Awards felt the same way. One gold and two silver awards in these inaugural awards is a tremendous achievement.” 
Croots launched in June 2008 and is renowned for its extensive and award-winning meat counter, which has doubled in size due to demand since the shop first opened. The store has won numerous awards for its sausages, pies and meat products, but these are the first awards that have been dedicated solely to the steak. 
Beef sold at Croots is reared by farmers Richard and Margaret Heath at Hazelwood Hall Farm, Hazelwood, near Belper in Derbyshire. 
The shop employs three full-time butchers and two assistant part-time butchers, as part of a 28-strong workforce employed in the shop and the restaurant, Shires Eatery, which has also doubled in size since opening. 
Croots Farm Shop is open Monday to Saturday from 9am to 5pm (Shires Eatery until 4.30pm) and from 10am to 4pm on Sundays. Croots runs Fresh Fish Thursdays between 9am and 1pm on Thursdays.
For more information visit
Press release issued by Nottingham PR company Perfect 10 PR

Monday, 13 April 2015

North West honey farmer gears up for the hay fever season

Bee farmer Cris Reeves is gearing up for a rush in demand for honey ahead of the start of the hay fever season.

Thousands of people swear by using raw honey as a natural remedy for streaming eyes and runny noses, saying that it has helped to ease their symptoms and transform their lives.

Crispin Reeves- Bee Farmer
The principle behind the theory is that the tiny amounts of pollen found in raw honey helps to desensitise the body - preventing a reaction to pollen in the atmosphere during spring and early summer. 

Cris, who runs Haughton Honey, based near Tarporley in Cheshire, said: “Many of our customers in the North West buy our honey because they know that the bees have made it in this country and that the honey is raw, so it still contains traces of intact pollen. 

“It doesn't matter too much if the hive that your honey comes from is on your doorstep or fifty miles away because our national flora is fairly similar across most of the country. But try and opt for multi-floral honey, which Haughton Honey is, as it will contain a good mix of pollens. 

“Thousands of people swear by taking a spoonful of honey a day, well in advance of the start of the hay fever season, as a natural remedy to the symptoms of hay fever. We’re already noticing an increase in demand and expect that to rise as we move towards early summer. The medical evidence is anecdotal at the moment, but we know for a fact that a lot of our customers buy Haughton Honey to try to ward off some of the unpleasant symptoms they suffer during the hay fever season.”

Cris launched Haughton Honey last year and already has more than 50 stockists across the North West. In Cheshire, these include The Monacle Deli in Macclesfield, The Hollies Farm Shop at Little Budworth, The Gift Shop at Chester Cathedral, Cheerbrook Farm Shop, Nantwich, and Walter Smith Fine Foods, Bridgemere Garden World near Nantwich.

Bottled at Radmore Farm, Haughton, the raw honey comes straight from the hive, is cold extracted and never pasteurised which means that it retains all of the natural enzymes and proteins that make English honey so special.

Haughton Honey is 100% natural and pure, and features traces of dandelion, chestnut, lime, blackberry, clover and other wildflowers. Five pence from the sale of every jar of Haughton Honey goes to the Bumblebee Conservation Trust to help protect bumblebees, and preserve and restore their habitats. 

Cris, who has been bee-keeping for more than ten years, owns 300 hives. He is supplementing his supply of honey from apiaries around England, all run by experienced bee-keepers, and now has more than 1,600 hives in the cooperative, stretching across the North West and the Midlands, including Cheshire, Staffordshire and Shropshire.

Vegetarian friendly, Haughton Honey is available from a number of local outlets and online, priced £4.95 for a 340g jar, via Five ways to get a daily dose of honeyTry one of Haughton Honey’s ideas for a spoonful of honey a day.

  • Add a dollop to your morning porridge
  • Pep up pancakes by drizzling honey on top
  • Dress up a crumpet or toast with a layer of honey
  • Bake banana bread, with honey as a glaze
  • Add a dash of honey to give subtle flavour to a range of dishes like casseroles, sauces and dressings 
Visit Haughton Honey’s website for a range of recipe ideas

Wednesday, 8 April 2015

The Orange Tree, Nottingham, launches new-style rolling menu

Photo by Scott Choucino
Technically, seasonal food reflects what’s available in each of the four seasons. But one Nottingham bar has gone a step further and is introducing an ultra seasonal menu by opting to alter its dishes every month on a rolling menu. 
At the same time, the Orange tree in Shakespeare Street is bringing back traditional British pub food - cooked and served in an elegant manner. 
Head chef Chris Slocombe and his team are also focusing on locally produced food and ingredients, with bread from Basford bakery Bake Off and Pie, mixed leaf salads from farmer John McDonald based just outside Nottingham at Woodborough, and meat from Leicestershire-based family butchers Mark Patrick, which was founded in 1981 and produces sausages which are renowned locally for their quality and range. 
“The trend in recent years has been to offer street food, but the Orange tree wanted to buck the trend and instead turn the focus back on to great-tasting British pub food,” explained Chris, who is supported by second chef Nathan Taylor and Max Chadwick and Billy Craighan on his team. 
“However, we’re putting an Orange tree twist on it by adding a touch of elegance and finesse to our dishes, so for example our pan fried chicken breast is served with saffron potatoes, wilted gem lettuce, and pea and bacon broth. 
“The new monthly rolling menu is much smaller and much more seasonal than it’s ever been previously, which means we can use really seasonal ingredients to create the freshest, tastiest of dishes. It’s an unusual move for a venue like ours to change its menu so regularly, but it’s a great way to offer a variety of different dishes to customers.” 
The Orange tree is continuing its commitment to those with specific dietary requirements and the current menu, launched on April 1st, features three gluten free main course dishes and two vegetarian offerings. Further choices are also available from a daily specials menu. 
Among the main course dishes are OT pie of the week with buttered mash, spring cabbage and stout gravy, sausage and mash with sticky onion marmalade, stout gravy and crispy leeks plus slow roast lamb shoulder with warm broad bean pea and mint salad and crumbled feta. 
Other items include mushroom and asparagus risotto, deep-fried crispy (but still runny) egg, mushroom ketchup and garlic crisps, plus baked salmon with pesto crust, roast tomato coulis and lemon and dill potatoes.  
Current dessert dishes include homemade Bakewell tart, warm custard, and strawberry jam, and warm homemade chocolate brownie, vanilla ice cream and white chocolate sauce. 
The Orange tree is part of the independent, East Midlands-based, Orange tree Group, which has bars and venues in Nottingham, Leicester and Loughborough. It opened the Orange tree in Shakespeare Street in October 2003. 
It is popular for business and shoppers’ lunches, as well as pre-theatre meals, early evening dining, and also attracts lecturers, staff and students from nearby Nottingham Trent University.

For more information about The Orange Tree visit

Press release issued by Nottingham PR agency Perfect 10 PR

Tuesday, 7 April 2015

Contractor J Tomlinson and others thanked for food bank support

Supporters of a Nottingham food bank which annually helps 3,000 people in crisis have been officially thanked for their generosity. 
Bestwood and Bulwell Food Bank invited a number of companies, organisations and individuals to its home at St Philips Church, Top Valley, to thank them for throwing a lifeline to the charity. Each has provided a vital contribution to the food bank, which is run in partnership with local churches in Bestwood, Bulwell, and Basford. 
Nottingham-based contractor J Tomlinson provided a large container unit so that food can be safely stored at the site after being approached by construction consultancy Turner & Townsend who heard that the food bank needed new storage facilities. Nottingham City Homes asked doors and windows supplier Nationwide Windows for help with a new door for the church to increase security, which the company was happy to provide. Supermarket chain Tesco also stepped in to offer additional storage room, while representatives and young people from the National Citizen Service helped to prepare the site for the container. The young people also raised £1,000 for the charity by cycling the equivalent distance from Land’s End to John-O-Groats on static bikes. 
The Rev Andy Morris, vicar of St Philips and St Matthews Church, and secretary of Bestwood and Bulwell Food Bank, said: “The support that all these organisations and individuals have given us has been incredible and it enables us to provide a service that’s desperately needed in the financial climate that we are in. 
“We are feeding about 3,000 people a year, which tends to be about 30,000 meals, and over a year we deal with about 25 tonnes of food in total. As well as on-going donations, twice a year we receive about three tonnes of donated food from collections from customers of Tesco at Top Valley, so it’s very important for us and the people we help that we have somewhere where we can safely store these generous donations. Without Right Track, the social enterprise that previously supported us for 18 months with storage, and our latest benefactors, the food bank would find it a challenge to operate so effectively.” 
The Sheriff of Nottingham Coun Jackie Morris also attended the official thank you, along with representatives from J Tomlinson, Turner & Townsend, Nottingham City Homes, Nationwide Windows, Tesco and the National Citizen Service. 
Martin Gallagher, Construction Managing Director at J Tomlinson, who attended with Head of Business Development Nikki Foreman, said: “When we heard at J Tomlinson that Bestwood and Bulwell Food Bank needed new storage facilities for donations, we were happy to step in and loan one of our large containers. As a Nottingham-based company, we regularly support local charities and good causes in appreciation of the key role they play in our community.” 
Part of the Trussell Trust network, the food bank was launched in 2012 and is one of four in Nottingham run under the Trussell banner. It is open Tuesdays and Thursdays between 1pm and 3pm and on Saturdays from 10am to noon. 

It provides three days of emergency food to people who are given vouchers by care professionals such as doctors, health visitors, social workers, CAB and police who have identified people in crisis. Schools, churches, businesses and individuals all donate non-perishable, in-date food to the food bank.
Press release issued by Nottingham PR agency Perfect 10 PR