"I am Maria Whitehead, I came to live here when I was 15, moving from rural Lancashire, I met and married my husband Mark in Hawkshead in 1984, he too was a refugee from Lancashire. Hawkshead though, was once part of Lancashire so maybe we haven’t really moved that far at all!
We have travelled all over the world, and yet home for us is the rolling, gentle green hills of the southern lake district
I love the dramatic skies, the fresh bright green of spring, the cold winters days and occasionally the rain with the fabulous earthy smell that comes afterwards and the rugged mountains of the Langdales, which form the backdrop of the view from our house. I can’t imagine living anywhere else or waking up and not seeing this scenery every day. We still travel a lot for work and it’s always a delight to come home.
We run the Hawkshead Relish Company, formed back in 1999 with our aim to create Relishes, Pickles and Preserves free from additives and made as you would do at home. I wanted products that I felt happy to give to my children knowing that they contained only natural ingredients.
We now make over 4,000 jars a day still by hand here in Hawkshead and what was important to us then is just as vital now, no additives, no nuts and no gluten: just really fresh, great locally sourced ingredients, made with care and a passion for great flavours.
But above all, we make sure we use local suppliers, services and staff so that the local economy thrives as we grow our business.
Conservation is essential to make sure that future generations experience and see the beauty that is the Lake District, but that does not mean it should be preserved in aspic, it should be a living breathing community, a place where business, and families can live, work and play.
I feel the World Heritage status will enable the Lake District to be seen for the landscape, the livelihoods that work within the area and to a global audience to appreciate and preserve for generations to come."
Maria Whitehead, Director, Hawkshead Relish
Maria Whitehead MBE is a Director of Hawkshead Relish Company Ltd based in Hawkshead, Cumbria, United Kingdom. Hawkshead Relish now have a workforce of around 20 and have ventured into exports throughout the last couple of years with orders going to over 20 countries to date.