The countryside champions

Press Release: 1st March 2011

'Steve's Leaves' is proud to be first corporate sponsor of CPRE Hampshire Countryside Awards

'Field-to-table' business entries welcomed

rushworth and mcewen

Mike Rushworth (left), Managing Director, Steve's Leaves
with Anthony McEwen, Director, CPRE Hampshire
(Credit: Burlison Photography)

St. Mary Bourne based, Steve's Leaves has announced its commitment and support of the CPRE Hampshire Countryside Awards.

This is a countryside awards scheme that aims to highlight environmentally beneficial projects throughout the county of Hampshire. CPRE Hampshire is delighted to announce a new sponsor for 2011.

'Steve's Leaves', farmers of the UK's tastiest little leaves, will become the first corporate sponsor of CPRE Hampshire's Countryside Awards scheme, which is being run in conjunction with Hampshire Fare and Hampshire Ambassadors.

Three categories of awards are open to entrants this year:

  • Rural Enterprise
  • Voluntary/Community
  • Schools.

Steve and his team are dedicated to sustainable and environmentally friendly farming. The first and only farms growing fresh produce to hold the Conservation Grade / Nature Friendly Farming status. This type of farming is scientifically proven to dramatically increase biodiversity and restore wildlife to the countryside. Conservation Grade provides a sustainable means of feeding the growing population whilst protecting the environment.

Steve, the man behind Steve's Leaves, is known to his friends as The Leaf Doctor as he holds a PhD in watercress. He has always been a pioneer: back in the '80s he came up with the idea of picking young spinach and eating it raw. At the time, people thought he was mad but now baby spinach is seen on supermarket shelves all around the country. Since then, Steve and his expert team of baby leaf growers keep coming up with ground-breaking ideas.

The deadline for entries is 15th July 2011. Projects need to have been completed within the last three years. Judges are looking to highlight truly outstanding projects that are exemplars to others in their field; and that support CPRE's objectives, which are to protect and enhance the beauty, tranquillity and diversity of the English countryside. It is intended to hold a special award ceremony to celebrate achievements in September.

Steve (Dr Steve Rothwell) of Steve's Leaves said:

"In 2010 we launched our branded range - Steve's Leaves - which aims to capture the most delicious flavours using nature friendly farming to grow the seeds and promote local conservation. Our distinctive flavours and leaves are washed only in spring water and provide a delicious and healthy option to include in recipes and balanced diets. In producing Steve's Leaves we are making the most of preserving and enhancing our local environments and their conservation.
"We are proud of that and it is at the heart of everything we do. We are happy to join up with CPRE Hampshire and be a part of commending and encouraging others who aspire to do the same."

Anthony McEwen, director of CPRE Hampshire said:

"Our mission may be summarised as standing up for the county's countryside. As such we are committed to thriving communities and responsible rural businesses. We therefore welcome Steve's Leaves' generous sponsorship of these awards for 2011 and look forward to plenty of entries from eligible organisations."

For more information on the criteria for entry under each of the categories, please email or visit the CPRE website ( for an application form and guidance notes. Examples of previous winners can be provided.

- Ends -


Notes to editors

  1. Steve's Leaves is a brand name of Vitacress Salads Ltd. Steve's Leaves are a bunch of pioneering farmers who grow tasty, nutritious baby leaves. We do something called nature friendly farming, building special habitats to encourage wildlife. Further information can be found on Make friends on facebook and follow Steve's Leaves @stevesleaves on twitter.
  2. The CPRE Hampshire Countryside Awards scheme was launched in 2007 to recognise significant achievements across the county which support its goal of "a beautiful, diverse and living countryside that everyone can value and enjoy."
  3. CPRE Hampshire strives to promote the beauty, tranquillity and diversity of the countryside of Hampshire by the sustainable use of land and other resources in town and country, and encouraging the biodiversity and well-being of rural communities.

For all media enquiries, please contact:
Keren Burney, media & communications officer, CPRE Hampshire
Tel: 01730 894123   Mobile: 07876 780065

For information on CPRE, please contact:
Anthony McEwen, Director, CPRE Hampshire
Tel: 01962 779185   Mobile: 07717 296025



CPRE Hampshire is not responsible for the content of external websites

rolling hills
CPRE Hampshire is committed to local foods and is currently working in conjunction with Hampshire Fare to promote the Countryside & Design Awards.
See Local foods page


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