Entries deadline for Rural Oscars

NOMINATIONS close on November 1 for the Countryside Alliance Awards, better known as the ‘Rural Oscars’.

Now in their ninth year, the UK-wide awards were set up to celebrate the characters, produce, traditions and enterprise of the countryside.

Many rural businesses – several from the Borders – have won across categories which include local food, village shop/post office, enterprise, butcher, and a start-up award for businesses trading for 18 months or less.

So far, 70 entries from across Scotland have been lodged, with most popular so far, family butchers HW Irvine of Blairgowrie and Ardross Farm Shop in Leven.

Countryside Alliance Scotland director, Jamie Stewart, said: “The awards are simple. They are nomination led, so just tell us who you want to champion, in which category, and what makes your choice so special.

If you make your case passionately enough, that person, shop, business or community group could be on the way to regional, or maybe even national, glory.

“The feelgood factor this competition has already generated is immense, and it continues to go from strength to strength.”

Nominations can be made at www.countryside-alliance.org.uk until November 1. Scottish winners go forward to the grand final, judged by a national panel, and will be invited to attend the British Championships at Westminster in April 2014.