The Hamble Valley is full of Local Champions who work to promote their businesses and attractions to visitors and residents.

Here are some interviews with the 2011 and 2012 champions:

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Nick Knowles

BBC presenter, Nick Knowles is a regular visitor to the Hamble Valley and enjoys sailing on the River Hamble. We asked him what the area means to him….

Nick, you regularly sail on the River Hamble, could you tell us why? What makes it a great place to sail?
The waters around Hamble are beautiful; I love the views through the changing seasons. My favourite time of day is when the sun is setting across the water and there’s a yellowy, treacly light which is quite unique to the Hamble.

Tell is about the first time you sailed on the River Hamble?
My friend Iain May took me trapezing on a fast sailing dingy and tried to drown me several times. Despite this I fell in love with the river. I feel at one with the Hamble, mostly because I’ve drunk gallons of it I suppose.

The Hamble Valley is described as a beautiful breathing space, what do you like about it?
The bars, clubs, restaurants and friendly water gypsies.

And lastly, the Hamble Valley is known as the Strawberry Coast because of the strawberry-growing heritage. So, thinking about strawberries, how do you eat yours?
With balsamic vinegar. Delicious!

 

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Marlene Norris

Social History Demonstrator at Manor Farm Country Park, Botley whose role is to show the public what life was like on a Victorian farm at the turn of the century.

What do you love about the Hamble Valley?  The thing I love most about the Hamble Valley is the peaceful walks and stunning scenery. You can always find a quiet corner away from the hustle and bustle to enjoy the local countryside that is on your doorstep.

Where is your favourite place to visit? I enjoy taking a walk out into the country park at Manor Farm during my lunch breaks but another of my favourite places is Westwood Woodland Park on Weston Shore. I especially enjoy visiting Westwood in the spring as it has a spectacular display of bluebells under the shade of the ancient woodland.   

And lastly, the Hamble Valley is known as the Strawberry Coast because of the strawberry-growing heritage. So, thinking about strawberries, how do you eat yours?  I love to dip my strawberries in chocolate mousse!

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Jenny Schwausch,

Owner of Strawberry Cottage B&B, Hedge End and a Hamble Valley Heritage Guide.  Nine years ago Jenny realised that there was capacity within her family home to to run a Bed and Breakfast, so attended a B&B evening classes which was organised by the local tourism unit. The rest is history!

What do you love about the Hamble Valley?
I love the variety of the Hamble Valley.  We have the conveniences of good shopping, theatres and leisure facilities’ but with good access to the countryside, attractive walks and green spaces.

 Where is your favourite place to visit?
My favourite place is Hamble old village.  A miniature version of Lymington with a beautiful waterfront, masses of history and excellent eateries.

And lastly, the Hamble Valley is known as the Strawberry Coast because of the strawberry-growing heritage. So, thinking about strawberries, how do you eat yours?
Living on an old Strawberry Farm we can’t stop them growing in the garden.  The favourite family way of eating them is sliced into a sweet pastry case with a thin layer of strawberry flavoured jelly.  Delicious!

 

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Cheryl Butler

Head of Culture at Eastleigh Borough Council

What do you love about the Hamble Valley? Well have to own up to a vested interest having developed the Hamble Valley brand when I managed the council’s tourism team a few years ago.  What I liked about it then and now is that is full of small nuggets of heritage and natural beauty that still speak to the local distinctiveness of the villages and communities that make up the Hamble Valley

Where is your favourite place to visit?  I think I would have to say Netley Abbey because it is a place full of atmosphere and history and has been for centuries an inspiration to poets, writers and artists, it is one of those undiscovered gems, so grand and beautiful but also quiet and reflective.  I can understand why it drew people like Jane Austen and Thomas Gray to visit and it is remarkable that so much of the Abbey is still standing today.

And lastly, the Hamble Valley is known as the Strawberry Coast because of the strawberry-growing heritage. So, thinking about strawberries, how do you eat yours? As smoothies

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David Evans

Marine Director and Harbour Master – River Hamble Harbour Authority.

What do you love about the Hamble Valley? The diversity of boats and the constant hubbub of boating activity.

Where is your favourite place to visit? The upper Hamble, above the M27 bridge.

The Hamble Valley is known as the ‘Strawberry Coast’ because of the strawberry-growing heritage, so thinking about strawberries. How do you like yours? Straight from the plant – nothing added.




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David Patereck

Head Chef at Banana Wharf, Hamble

What do you love about the Hamble Valley? The wonderful views of the River Hamble and all the boats – I can spend hours watching the world sail by.

Where is your favourite place? Sitting on the decking of Banana Wharf with a glass of wine in hand after a busy shift.

The Hamble Valley is know as the ‘Strawberry Coast’ because of the strawberry-growing heritage, so thinking about strawberries, how do you like to eat yours? With a glass of Champagne.