Chiltern Open Air Museum, in Chalfont St Giles, has been named as a finalist in two award categories for this year’s Beautiful South Awards, run by Tourism South East.
The open air museum is up against The Courtyard and the Hedgerow in Oxfordshire and The Merry Harriers Inn in Surrey for the Dog Friendly Business of the Year category.
Rachael Maytum, the museum’s estate assistant, is also a finalist in the Unsung Hero Award category.
She’s up against eleven other finalists including entries from Didcot Railway Centre in Oxfordshire, The Brickworks Museum in Hampshire, and The British Airways i360 Viewing Tower in East Sussex.
Rachael was nominated because of hard work during 2020.
When many volunteers had to shield during the lockdown, Rachael had to teach unskilled staff members how to lamb.
Thanks to her, this resulted in one of COAM’s most successful lambing seasons ever.
With the help of volunteers, Rachael also created a traditional garden which formed part of the interpretation of a reconstructed earth cottage at the museum.
This turned out to be a lifeline for the charity run museum, which was only able to open its grounds and gardens to visitors and not their historic buildings due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Helen Light, marketing manager at Chiltern Open Air Museum said: “This is such wonderful news for the museum and a real boost for staff morale.
“Rachael has been amazing over the past year, not only did she show me and other staff members how to lamb, she captured some great images for us to share on our social media, and when our grounds were open she spent time engaging with our visitors and telling them about traditional crafts and practices.
“We are extremely proud of her. We find out on the 4th March if she’s won Gold, Silver, Bronze or a Special Award. To us, she’s won Gold.”
Chiltern Open Air Museum will find out where they’ve placed in the final on March 4.
Due to the pandemic, the usual stylish award ceremony won’t be taking place this year, and will instead be an online ceremony.