Rural hero awards

THE search will soon be on for rural heroes.

The Best Rural Retailer competition ran for three years, received thousands of nominations and honoured hundreds of worthy winners.

Now called the Countryside Alliance Awards, it opens to nominations on Monday, September 1.

The awards will accept nominations between September 1 and October 27 across five categories: Local Food; Village Shop/Post Office; Rural Enterprise; Daily Telegraph Best Traditional Business; Rural Hero.

In another first, the awards will also be inviting nominations for politicians who have shown a commitment to rural issue.

Richard Dodd, Countryside Alliance regional director for the North of England, said: "We are very proud of the Countryside Alliance Awards and look forward to honouring many deserving nominees this year. The political element is extremely exciting and I hope it generates some healthy rivalries amongst politicians of all ends of the political spectrum.

"We are rewarding vision, enterprise and guile, but we are also rewarding old fashioned community values and the sort of spirit that many of the countryside's detractors have written off. We want to show them that the countryside is one of our greatest assets, and its enterprising and passionate people are the reason why."