The Countryside Alliance (CA) has been placed on the shortlist of Channel 4’s prestigious annual political awards as one of the six most inspiring political forces in the UK in the past decade. A public vote on the shortlist is now being held.

Sharing the shortlist with the CA are Tony Blair, Alex Salmond, Everyone who marched against the Iraq war, Ian Paisley and Martin McGuinness, and finally Ken Livingstone. Email votes are being taken from the public until next Friday, 18 January. Visit the Channel 4 website to register your vote.

In its description of the CA, Channel 4 describes why the association has been put forward for the shortlist for its ability to motivate, politically, those who are not part of the mainstream at Westminster: “Of all the serious issues facing Tony Blair on his arrival at Number 10, fox hunting must have seemed one of the least pressing.

But 10 months later, 250,000 people joined a march on Trafalgar Square to defend what they felt was their ancient freedom, and an essential part of the rural way of life.

The Countryside Alliance, which organised this event, became far more than a single-issue pressure group. The fight to save foxhunting was ultimately unsuccessful – it was banned in 2005 – but the alliance became a voice for rural people who felt their plight was being ignored by mainstream politicians.”

Robert Gray, campaigns director for the CA, told www.shootingtimes.co.uk: “It’s very exciting for us to be on this list — we’re the only actual campaign group to make the cut.”

Don’t forget, you have until 18 January to register your vote.