The Midlands’ finalists in the 2016 Countryside Alliance Awards (aka the Rural Oscars) have been announced, with businesses from across the region going head to head for a regional title and a shot at national glory.The Awards are the Countryside Alliance’s annual celebration of rural produce, skills, enterprise and heritage through our small hard-working businesses. They are now in their twelfth year and have become the definitive rural business award to win. This year we received over 7,500 nominations, meaning these finalists truly are the best of the best. The Awards are public-nomination led across five categories:
- Local Food & Drink
- Village Shop/ Post Office
- Tourism Enterprise
- Farm Enterprise
The finalists in the 2016 Rural Oscars in the Midlands are: Local food & drink category
- Ashley Farm Shop, Ashley, Market Harborough, Leicestershire www.ashleyherbfarm.co.uk
- Yew Tree Farm, Hinton-in-the-Hedges, Brackley, Northamptonshire
- Ludlow Food Centre, Bromfield, Ludlow, Shropshire www.ludlowfoodcentre.co.uk
- Hillers Farm Shop, Dunnington, Nr Alcester, Warwickshire www.hillers.co.uk
Village shop / Post Office category
- Kingsland Post Office, Kingsland, Leominster, Herefordshire
- Wellington Delights, Wellington, Hereford, Herefordshire
- Daybreak Services, Packington, Ashby-de-la-Zouch, Leicestershire
- Napton Village Post Office and Kitchen, Napton, Southam, Warwickshire www.naptonvillagestores.co.uk
Tourism enterprise category
- Bluebell Dairy Ice Cream, Brunswood Farm, Locko Road, Derby, Derbyshire www.bluebelldairy.co.uk
- The Tissington Estate, Tissington Hall, Tissington, Derbyshire www.tissingtonhall.co.uk
- Museum of the Horse, Tuxford, Newark, Nottinghamshire www.horsemuseum.co.uk
- Bodenham Arboretum, Wolverley, Kidderminster, Worcestershire www.bodenhamarboretum.co.uk
Farm enterprise category
- Warner Edwards Distillery, Falls Farm, Northamptonshire www.warneredwards.com
- High Ash Country Store, Abbots Bromley, Staffordshire
- Cedarstone Ltd, Call Unite Farm, Rushock, Droitwich, Worcestershire www.cedarstone.co.uk
- Sandfield Farm, Upper Moor, Pershore, Worcestershire
- Joseph Morris Butchers, South Kilworth, Leicestershire www.joseph-morris.co.uk
- Clarke's of Queniborough, Queniborough, Leicestershire www.clarkesqueniborough.co.uk/
- Hunt Butchers, Greens Norton, Towcester, Northamptonshire
- Pete the Meat, Astwood Bank, Redditch, Worcestershire http://petethemeat.co.uk/
Countryside Alliance Awards director Jill Grieve commented: “This has been a record year for nominations, showing how much the public values and supports our hard working rural businessmen and women. For these finalists to get this far is already an exceptional achievement and I look forward to meeting them as judging gets underway. The Rural Oscars were set up to champion those who go the extra mile for their communities and it is an honour to offer a voice to rural business in this way.” Notes:
- Each business will receive a visit from judges.
- Regional winners will be announced in February and will advance to the national finals.
- The regions are: North, Midlands, East, South East, South West, Wales.
- The Parliamentary reception will be held at Westminster on Wednesday 22nd March 2017.
- Follow the Awards on Twitter @CAAwards and use the hashtag #RuralOscars.
- Scotland runs a separate Awards scheme.