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Nominate your rural champion

Wednesday 30th September 2015

NOMINATIONS are now open for the 2015 Rural Oscars - the biggest annual celebration of communities, produce, enterprise and rural heritage.

With a new tourism category this year, there are more opportunities than ever for businesses in the Garden of England to be in with a chance of winning a prize.

The 2015 Countryside Alliance Awards, now in their 11th year, are voted for by the public. They recognise and honour all that’s best about enterprising rural businesses and those who routinely go the extra mile for their community or help to promote rural life.

The awards start regionally and build towards a national championship in April 2016. The categories reflect the diversity of rural business, embracing everything from farm shops, butchers and post offices to breweries, B&Bs and farm parks.

The four main categories this year are: local food and drink, The Daily Telegraph village shop/post office awards; best butcher and tourism enterprise.

Awards director Jill Grieve said: “We started the Rural Oscars 11 years ago in order to give a voice and a platform to rural business, and in that time they have become the gold standard of rural awards.”

Nominations can be made at until Monday, November 2 at http://www.countryside-alliance.org/.

The south region winner will be announced early in 2016 and regional winners go forward to the grand final, judged by a national panel, and will be invited to attend the national final at Parliament in Westminster on April 27, 2016, to hear if they have scooped their category title.

Last year, MB Farms of Stockbury was declared the South East’s Local Food champion.

MB Farms runs a butchery, post office and a farm that supplies its shop with beef and lamb.

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