Rural oscars nominations wanted

THE Countryside Alliance Awards have sailed past the 3,000 nomination mark, making this their most successful year. Members of the public keen to support the rural economy and our farmers have been nominating, but, with a month still to go until nominations close, the public is being urged to get involved.

The awards, nicknamed the Rural Oscars, are now in their eighth year. 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.

In their lifetime, the Awards have honoured hundreds of rural businesses across several categories – they are seen by many as the rural Award to win and tell a positive story about grit, determination and hard work.

Countryside Alliance Awards Director Jill Grieve commented: “This has been a hard year for the countryside. The bad weather has affected the harvest and the cancellation of many country shows has 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. The Rural Oscars give people a way to support rural business and the response has already been exceptional.

“We are also seeing support from more Parliamentarians than before – they want to support the businesses in their constituencies and the Countryside Alliance Awards give them a platform from which to do that. We are still a few weeks away from closing to nominations, so I would urge everyone who supports their local small businesses to get involved and tell us about them.”