LOCAL businesses have been shortlisted in the annual celebration of British food, farming, enterprise and heritage.

The Rural Oscars, organised by the Countryside Alliance, are now in their fifteenth year and have become “the definitive rural business award to win”.

The awards received over17,000 nominations this year, amongst them are Greenfield Farm Shop in Andover, Westlands Farm Shop and Tea Room in Southampton, Hampshire Bowman in Southampton, The Yew Tree in Alresfod, Calcutt and Sons Ltd in Winchester, The Hunting Stock Market in Stockbridge and West End Flower Farm in Alton.

Both Greenfield Farm Shop and Westlands Farm Shop and Tea Room are finalists in the Local Food and Drink award. Greenfield Farm Shop is a small family run business supplying quality free range pork from a small rearing herd in Broughton. Their competition, Westlands Farm Shop sell fresh produce from all over Hampshire and they also run a very popular tearoom inside a converted farm building which offer panoramic views of the farm.

Pubs Hampshire Bowman and The Yew Tree are both finalists for the Pub Award. The Hampshire Bowman is an un spoilt country pub serving local ales, ciders and food. Their opposition The Yew Tree is a rustic country pub who source everything, when possible from Hampshire or the neighbouring counties.

Hampshire has three local business in the Rural Enterprise Award: Calcutt and Sons Ltd, The Hunting Stock Market and West End Flower Farm. Calcutt and Sons Ltd are one of the oldest Saddlery businesses in the Country and they have built up a wonderful business from their expert and friendly advice. The Hunting Stock Market supply traditional hunting attire, with most products being made by hand in the UK. Last but not least, The West End Flower Farm is a sustainable flower grower with a restaurant and farm shop that specialises in British flowers, produce and locally made gifts.

Countryside Alliance Awards director Sarah Lee said: “We have been overwhelmed by nominations this year. The secret to the Rural Oscars’ popularity is that they honour the people involved in these businesses and not just their produce or services. They exist to sing the praises of those who work hard to keep our communities and rural economy ticking, but don’t seek the spotlight. These awards provide a cause for celebration in a time of great uncertainty in the countryside. Our local produce is second to none and there are many community heroes and businesses worthy of national recognition.”