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Vote for Richard

Richard DarlingtonHall Hill Farm shepherd and winner of Visit County Durham’s Tourism Superstar 2017 award Richard Darlington has been shortlisted for a prestigious national prize.

Richard is one of 10 finalists across the country to have made the coveted shortlist for VisitEngland’s Tourism Superstar 2017 award, with the winner being announced during English Tourism Week (17-25 March).

Richard is passionate about the importance of diversification and introducing new activities to keep visitors engaged. He introduced ‘Sheep Racing’ at Hall Hill Farm, which continues to be one of the most popular daily events and in 2015 launched ‘Lambing Live’, an annual event which streams the farm’s maternity ward in Spring to keep visitors connected 24/7.

The hardworking shepherd and farm guide always goes the extra mile to give visitors a memorable, immersive experience and was put forward for the national award by Visit County Durham.

Richard said: “What a way to start the 2018 tourism season at Hall Hill Farm. I was very surprised but delighted to win Durham Tourism Superstar last year and now to be a finalist in the VisitEngland’s Tourism Superstar Award 2018 is such an amazing honour.

It’s great when a small family run attraction like ours gains recognition, and I’m really grateful for all the support I have received already from my family, staff, volunteers and our visitors. I would like to thank everyone who votes, and encourage everyone to visit Durham and Hall Hill Farm. It is such a fun day out for all the family.”

The high-profile national competition has recognised several Durham Tourism Superstars over the years. Lilian Groves, an octogenarian volunteer senior tour guide at Durham Cathedral took the crown in 2016, and in 2015 Matthew Henderson, engagement and participation team assistant at Beamish Museum, triumphed, having originally joined the team as an apprentice. Auckland Castle Park Ranger Alan Anderson was a finalist in the 2017 awards and Beamish Museum’s Anthony Gales came in at third place in 2014.

The vote is now over,  the winner will be announce on 24 Saturday via The Daily Mirror. Or check back on Monday to see if Richard is England’s next #TourismSuperBAA.

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