Farmer Copleys won the Best Food & Beverage award at the National Farm Attractions Network annual conference & awards ceremony on 1st February 2018.

Colin Evans, NFAN chairman said, “Over 20 million visits a year are made to UK farm parks, enabling families and school groups to discover more about farming and food, all while having fun. The annual awards celebrate the best farm park cafes and restaurants, the innovators, the customer service champions and the outstanding educators. The judges have found this year’s awards to be the most hotly contested yet. It is great achievement to be a finalist, the winners and highly commended should feel justly proud in their success.”

During the three-day annual conference attended by over 200 farm park owners and operators, delegates visited two Shropshire Farm Parks; The Hoo Farm and Park Hall The Countryside Experience. The group also visited the British Ironworks Centre & Shropshire Sculpture Park. Delegates heard from a range of speakers and spent time visiting the many suppliers exhibiting at the trade show.

The NFAN annual awards, the Farm Attraction ‘Oscars’, were held at a glittering dinner hosted by BBC Radio Shropshire presenter Carl Jones. The Winner of the Large Farm Attraction of the Year (over 75,000 visitors pa) was Willows Activity Farm near St Albans, Hertfordshire. The winner of the small Farm Attraction of the Year (under 75,000 visitors pa) went to Tapnell Farm Park on the Isle of Wight.

Other winners on the night were Farmer Copleys near Pontefract, West Yorkshire who won the Best Food & Beverage award and Park Hall The Countryside Experience, Shropshire who won Best in Education. Cannon Hall Farm near Barnsley, South Yorkshire won Best Digital Presence for the second year running and Streamvale Open Farm near Belfast won the Innovation Award for their ‘take a break from revision’ student nights, which have seen a hard to reach age group engage with farming. The Day Maker award for customer service excellence went to Joe Huntly at Puxton Park in Somerset. The Best trade supplier award was won by Timberplay.

NFAN AWARDS 2017 – Full list of sponsors and recipients:

Jim Keetch Farm Attraction of the Year Award (Over 75,000 visitors)

Sponsored by Agility Marketing

Winner – Willows Activity Farm, Hertfordshire

Highly Commended – Hobbledown, Surrey

Finalists – Farmer Ted’s, Fishers Adventure Farm Park, Whitehouse Farm Centre, York Maze.

Jim Keetch Farm Attraction of the Year Award (Under 75,000 visitors)

Sponsored by David Taylor Designs

Winner – Tapnell Farm Park, Isle of Wight

Highly Commended – Hall Hill Farm, County Durham

Finalists – Cantref Adventure Farm, The Pink Pig.

Innovation Award

Sponsored by Marsh & Co Insurance

Winner – Streamvale Open Farm, Belfast

Highly Commended – National Forest Adventure Farm, Staffordshire

Finalists – Cannon Hall Farm, Fishers Adventure Farm Park, Park Hall The Countryside Experience.

Best Trade Supplier

Sponsored by NFAN

Winner – Timberplay, South Yorkshire

Highly Commended – David Taylor Design, Cornwall

Finalists – Innovative Leisure, Outdoor Play People

Best Food and Beverage Award

Sponsored by Booker Wholesale

Winner – Farmer Copleys, West Yorkshire

Highly Commended – Tapnell Farm Park, Isle of Wight

Finalists: Barleylands, Chobham Adventure Farm, Churchfields Farm Ice Cream

Best in Education

Sponsored by Jumping Pillows

Winner – Park Hall The Countryside Experience, Shropshire

Highly Commended – Thornton Hall Farm, North Yorkshire

Finalists – Cannon Hall Farm, Hall Hill Farm, White Post Farm, Whitehouse Farm Centre

Best Digital Presence

Sponsored by Vennersys

Winner – Cannon Hall Farm, South Yorkshire

Highly Commended – White Post Farm, Nottinghamshire

Finalists – Fishers Adventure Farm Park, Noah’s Ark Zoo Farm, Pennywell,

Day Maker Award

Sponsored by Playscheme

Winner – Joe Huntly, Puxton Park, Somerset

Highly Commended – AJ, 4 Kingdoms, Berkshire

Finalists – Anthony Moore – White Post Farm, Nottinghamshire; Arron Spicer, Finkley Down Farm, Hampshire; Jess King, Cattle Country Adventure Park, Gloucestershire; Mark Wibberley, Pennywell, Devon; Roger Nicholson, Cannon Hall Farm, South Yorkshire

About NFAN

Uniting the Farm Attraction Industry, The National Farm Attraction Network (NFAN) has over 250 Members and is the only independent co-operative for farm and rural attractions. Encouraging best practice and knowledge sharing, NFAN proactively updates members on the latest HSE advice, represents the farm attraction industry at government meetings, runs events including the annual conference and awards, and provides ongoing support and guidance to members.

NFAN began in 1996 through the vision of Jim Keetch, a Farm Park owner in Weldon, Northants. He travelled the country, attending agricultural shows encouraging other farm parks to join. Jim Keetch passed away in 1998, but his name lives on through the Jim Keetch Farm Attraction of the Year Award now in its 17th year and through his pioneering work in setting up NFAN, a voice for the farm park industry.