These ‘Rural Oscars’, now in their eighth year, are the Countryside Alliance’s annual celebration of the efforts of small rural businesses. The five categories of the Rural Oscars are: Local Food, Village Shop/ Post Office, Enterprise, Butcher and Start-up. The regional winners (some of whom are listed below) will now be entered into the UK and Ireland final, which will take place at the Houses of Parliament on March 13.

Regional winners of note include:

Lains Shooting School was described as “a complete enterprise”.

Lains Shooting School, Quarley, Andover, Hampshire, won the Enterprise category in the South West. A regional judge said: “We are proud to honour Lains because it is a complete enterprise, encouraging and supporting people at all ends of the shooting spectrum and fostering a love of the countryside. Howard Kirby’s business is also a huge part of the local economy and he is to be congratulated for creating and sustaining this thriving business in the current economic climate.”

For more information on Lains click here

Oxfordshire Shooting School, Chipping Norton, Oxfordshire, won the Enterprise category in the South East. The regional judge said: “It is vitally important that we recognise shooting as a key part of the rural economy – and it is equally important to recognise that sport shooting is great fun.”

For more information on Oxfordshire Shooting School click here

Hillers Farm Shop, Alcester, Warwickshire, won the Local Food category in the Midlands. The regional judge said: “Many of their own products are produced in the kitchens & produce is also grown/ reared on the 65 acre farm. Ragley Estate Meats are a huge part of the business and sell a large volume of Ragley game from the estate shoot. Food yards, not miles.”

For more information on Hillers click here

Countryside Alliance Awards director Jill Grieve said: “Shooting is an integral part of the social and economic fabric of the countryside. It is heartening to see shooting businesses and local food outlets selling game at the centre of these awards, flying the flag for shooting, conservation and rural life. I wish each and every regional winner luck in next month’s UK and Ireland finals and applaud them all for the valuable contribution they make.”

For more information about the ‘Rural Oscars’ click here

For more news stories click here