‘Rural Oscars’ entries wanted

BORDERS entries are being sought by the Countryside Alliance for their annual awards dubbed the “Rural Oscars”, writes Sally Gillespie.

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

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

Countryside Alliance 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 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, often under the radar.

“The Rural Oscars give people a way to support rural business and the response has already been exceptional. 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. We can all play a part in boosting the rural economy.”

Nominations can be made online at www.countrysideallianceawards.org.uk until Monday (October 29)