December 15, 2011, from NMTF “How green is your market”
A VILLAGE market in rural North Yorkshire has been named Britain’s greenest market just over a year after it was established.
Hovingham Market triumphed in the NMTF’s annual greenest market competition because it has been built on the twin principles of environmental friendliness and community benefit.
Mark Woolley, chairman of the Hovingham Market Action Group, the non-profit making group that runs the market, explained that the market was launched in October 2009 after a community survey found that 80 per cent of local people wanted a village market.
Launched with just 14 stalls, the market, which is held on the first Saturday of every month except January, now has 40 stalls and attracts more than 5,000 shoppers.
Mark Woolley, who sells plants on the market, said: “The market is 60 per cent food and 40 per cent crafts. It was established as a green market. Hovingham is in a very rural location eight miles from the nearest small supermarket and 15 miles from York, which is the nearest conurbation. The idea was to encourage people to buy local produce.”
He said another objective was to support the local community and a different community group is invited to run the market’s cafe each month with all the profits going to that organisation. Already the local play group, the gentle exercise group for older people and local churches have all benefited.
The NMTF judges were impressed by the market’s small carbon footprint and its achievement of providing a market place for people to shop locally.
Mark said: “We have recently introduced our own eco bags which we sell on the market at £2 each which is cost price. We have established a link with the campaign group Love Food Hate Waste and they attended our Christmas market where we put on a cookery demonstration aimed at encouraging people to use leftovers over Christmas.”
He said Hovingham market put a strong emphasis on recycling and reducing waste and one future initiative includes installing solar panels in the roof of the village hall. The market bans generators and traders who want to use electricity pay a tariff.
“Although we are not a farmers’ market as such, we are a local community market for local traders and local people, which means we are green by nature,” Mark said.
More Information at the NMTF Website.
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