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Sam and Beth win top honour at civic awards
4:35pm Monday 15th October 2012 in News
A COUPLE who battled back from tragedy to build an ecofriendly holiday venue have been hailed at an awards ceremony.
Sam and Beth Hardwick, the owners of Bivouac, near Masham, were handed the Best Project and Sustainability accolades at Ripon Civic Society’s annual awards.
The Hardwicks’ third daughter, Florie Briah, died after contracting a virus which damaged her heart at the same time construction began on the campsite, which opened to visitors this spring.
The Bivouac includes a cafe, eight canvas yurts, which will sleep up to five people, and six well-equipped shacks built from chestnut and faced in local larch, in a nearby wood.
The shacks are all insulated with wool, and heating is provided by local logs.
The Bivouac was also awarded two Highly Commended certificates, for its log cabins in the New Building category and for the stone barns, which now holds its shop, café and camping barn, in the Best Restored Building category.
The society’s awards, presented at the city’s Spa Hotel, recognised good design, craftsmanship and environmental schemes from the area around the city as well as within the city’s boundaries.
Ripon Cathedral won both the Best Restoration Project and the Craftsmanship awards, for its new glass entrance at the west end, which has seen the ancient central oak doors opened daily to welcome visitors and worshippers for the first time in more than 150 years.
Glass panels above each of the three doors are embellished with etchings, depicting scenes from the life of St Wilfrid.
While Oliver’s Pantry, in North Street, Ripon, won the Best Shop Front title, the John Whitehead Award, in which the society recognises an outstanding contribution to the area, was presented to Markenfield Hall.
Judges praised the work done over the last few years to restore the hall, billed as “the most unspoiled early 14th century house in England” and open it up to the public and local groups.
Lady Deidre and Ian Curteis received the Award from Mandy Whitehead, daughter of John and Helen Whitehead who were both important figures in Ripon Civic Society in earlier years.
David Winpenny, chairman of Ripon Civic Society, said: “This year’s awards particularly recognise the value of a sustainable business, with The Bivouac leading the way in bringing visits to a rural area and providing local employment while respecting its location.”
Other projects recognised included the restoration of the lake at the National Trust’s Studley Royal, the Ripon Flood Alleviation Scheme, planting on Bedern Bank and the planting of new roadside trees in Ripon.