The owner of the Blagdon Estate in south east Northumberland has been given a prestigious national award.
Viscount Ridley was chosen by the Royal Agricultural Society of England as the winner of its Bledisloe Medal for 2015 earlier this year and was presented with his award as part of the annual President’s Day event.
The medal is awarded in recognition of a landowner who demonstrates outstanding achievement in the successful land management and development of an agricultural estate in England and has a particular focus on the creation of features of benefit to the local community, the environment or for the wider public good and developing alternative sources of income.
RASE President Sir John Beddington presented the award as part of President’s Day, which was held at the Blagdon Estate.
Robert Downer, chief executive at The Blagdon Estate, said: “Hosting the RASE President’s Day is a real honour for the Estate, and being able to show so many people from outside the region the range of activities we undertake here added real depth to the day.
“The Blagdon Estate is host to dozens of families, hundreds of jobs and tens of thousands of visitors, and our commercial activities allow for significant funding, without public subsidy, to be allocated towards improving local community and tourism facilities which otherwise simply would not be available from any other source.”
Humphrey Salwey, chairman of the Bledisloe Medal judging panel for the Royal Agricultural Society of England, added: “We found the Blagdon Estate to be excellent in many respects, and especially wanted to highlight the extensive environmental improvement work that has been undertaken across the land.”