Herefordshire branch’s Mark Haslam is named as CAMRA’s campaigner of the year 2020.

A veteran campaigner who has worked tirelessly for many years for community pubs, local brewers and beer festivals.

Mark Haslam is a founding member of Herefordshire branch, and is a previous recipient, in 2010, of CAMRA’s Campaigner of the Year award. In the intervening ten years his commitment to CAMRA has increased substantially and his experience level has become even more formidable.

Awards director Gary Timmins said Mark’s commitment to real ale is clear. He established – and continues to organise – the successful Beer on the Wye festival. But he is acutely aware that without pubs there would be no real ale, and it is in campaigning to save and promote pubs that his real passion is apparent.

“His workload has steadily increased, and it is largely due to his efforts that in Herefordshire the bar is now set very high against pub-owners seeking change of use,” said Gary.

“He has a vast knowledge of planning procedures and enthusiastically provides considerable advice and support for CAMRA branches and community groups whose pubs are under threat, both locally and more widely across the country,“ said Gary.

“He often manages to ruffle feathers but invariably calms the situation, turning it into a positive campaigning opportunity. His writing style is legendary, and he is the mainstay of the branch magazine.”

The campaigning activities for which Mark was nominated included:

● A valuable community pub, the Broadleys in Hereford, was reprieved from conversion to a convenience store following a hard-hitting confrontation with the Co-op and NewRiver Retail

● Helping to guide two pubs into community ownership, adding to one already established in 2012.

The other finalists for the 2020 award were: Cath Potter – Central Manchester Branch, Adrian Smith – Central Lancashire Branch, Joanne Scott – North London Branch, Laurie Gibney – Bristol branch, and Mike Smith – Berkshire South East Branch.

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