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Local food flavours tourism launch at Grand Prix Circuit

Thursday, 15th January 2009

A packed audience for the launch of the 2009 National Forest & Beyond Visitor Guide was thrilled to be greeted as ‘the first crowd to be welcomed to the home of the 2010 British Grand Prix.’

Yesterday’s launch took place at Donington Park, which has just received planning permission to stage the prestigious 2010 motor race. Donington Park Chief Executive Simon Gillett was one of the speakers at the event.  He said: ‘This is both the oldest and the newest circuit. Donington Park is historically the home of Formula One, and when we hold the event next year we will be the newest, and are determined to be the best, racing circuit in the world.’

 He added:  ‘I am also delighted to announce it will be the first public transport Grand Prix.  People will park and ride, park and cycle, and even walk into the event.  We are looking into ways to ‘green’ the new infrastructure, with grey water recycling and local food supply; and we are excited at possibilities of new partnerships with The National Forest.’

 Local and best was the theme of yesterday’s event, and the audience of 150 local tourism businesses and local authority representatives were able to sample many local Forest foods, including chutneys and oils, bread and chocolate. 

 Barry Smith, key speaker and local ‘foodie’, outlined the huge range of locally-produced food and drink available in and around the Forest, and the benefits to the environment and to an individual’s health and well-being of sourcing and shopping locally.  Local producers were well represented:  Sandra’s Jams of Whetstone produced the jam and the scones, baked with flour from Claybrooke Mill; table water was provided by National Forest Spring Water of Melbourne; stoneground white, seeded spelt and siskin bread were supplied by Manor Organic Farm Shop of Long Whatton and colourful displays from Scaddows Farm shop near Ticknall and Cattows Farm Shop from Heather drew many compliments.  Traditional Sparkenhoe Red Leicester was supplied by the Leicester Handmade Cheese Company in Market Bosworth and salad dressings and oils from Just Oils of Rugeley.

 ‘The food tasting was very popular with everyone there, all of whom play a part in tourism in The National Forest,’ said Sophie Churchill, Chief Executive of the National Forest Company. ‘Because of the interest in food and cooking on the television, local food is a brilliant way to promote this area for visitors.  It fits in completely with what The National Forest is all about:  a wonderful resource, easy to get to, full of hidden gems that add all kinds of benefits to the lives of the people who visit and who live here. Yesterday evening, after the event, I made the best supper in a long time from some of the produce on display!’

 The audience also heard more about the 2009 campaign to promote the National Forest and Beyond, and the exciting new themed breaks, developed in partnership with Leicester Shire Promotions.  These offer special deals for accommodation combined with woodland ‘experiences’, cycling or walking. 

 The A4 Visitor Guide features a handy pull-out attractions guide containing special offer discount vouchers; offers five top tips on environmentally friendly breaks that won’t cost the earth and a wealth of information on where to stay, events, fairs, festivals and forest facts.

 The Visitor Guides are produced by the National Forest Company in partnership with East Staffordshire Borough Council, North West Leicestershire District Council and South Derbyshire District Council to promote the tourism economy in the Forest and surrounding area.

 To order a copy of the guide, either log on to the website, email or telephone 01283 551211.