Nominate your rural champions

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THE public are being encouraged to nominate their favourite rural businesses and champions in the Countryside Alliance Awards.

The awards, nicknamed the ‘Rural Oscars’, are now in their eighth year and have attracted about 3,000 nominations so far. They were set up to celebrate the characters, produce, traditions and enterprise of the countryside through the people who work so hard to make it tick.

Awards director Jill Grieve said: “This has been a hard year for the countryside. The bad weather has affected the harvest and the cancellation of many country shows have seen the rural economy put under increasing pressure. I think the public is responding to that and really wants to celebrate the hard work and dedication that rural businessmen and women put in.”

Nominations can be made online at www.countrysideallianceawards.org.uk until October 29. The categories are:-

l Local Food

l Village Shop/ Post Office

l Enterprise

l Butcher

l Start-up Award (for businesses trading for 18 months or less)