Five rural businesses from Herefordshire have been shortlisted for prestigious awards dubbed the "Rural Oscars" after thousands of nominations from across the country were whittled down to a final few.

The Countryside Alliance Awards said the five businesses are among 24 firms from the Midlands to make in to the finals across five categories.

Hanks' Meat and Game in Ross-on-Wye has been shortlisted in the best butcher category, with Legges Copper Kettle, at the bottom of Aylestone Hill, in the running for local food/drink champion.

Anthony Legge, owner of Legges, pictured at the shop in Bromyard. Picture: Rob Davies

Anthony Legge, owner of Legges, pictured at the shop in Bromyard. Picture: Rob Davies

In the rural enterprise champion category, Marley Hall Pet Crematorium in Staplow, near Ledbury, has made the shortlist.

The best village shop/post office category includes two Herefordshire firms, with both the Yarpole Community Shop, near Leominster, and Hopes of Longtown, in the final few.


Winners will be chosen via a public vote and the victors will go on to represent the Midlands in the House of Lords at the national champions reception on Wednesday, May 17.

Marley Hall said: "We are very different to the majority of pet crematoriums in that we only ever undertake individual pet cremations and everyone has their pets ashes back."

Hopes of Longtown said: "Please help us get Team Hopes recognised, we are thrilled to be shortlisted in the West Midlands and the national final would be amazing."

The Hopes of Longtown team recently celebrated 20 years in business

The Hopes of Longtown team recently celebrated 20 years in business

Hanks' Meat and Games said: "So we are over the moon to be Midlands regional finalist in the Countryside Alliance Rural Oscars.

"We’ve been recognised for what we’re doing within our business, supporting local farmers, promoting game and supporting the local economy."

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It's now down to the general public to vote for their favourite rural businesses, which can be done via the Countryside Alliance website, here. The public can vote for one business in all of the categories, or for just one individual business in their respective category.

Sponsored by Howden Insurance Services, the "Rural Oscars" – as they are commonly known – are now in their 16th year. The awards celebrate rural businesses that go the extra mile, support their local economy and are the unsung heroes in every community.


The businesses are judged on a range of criteria including their passion and commitment, sense of community, championing local food and the energy and diversity of their business.

Yarpole Community Shop volunteers

Yarpole Community Shop volunteers

Countryside Alliance Awards director Sarah Lee said: “We have been overwhelmed by nominations this year, with so many worthy businesses being sent in by the public.

"Every business has an important story to tell and it’s so important that is recognised. The secret to the Rural Oscars’ popularity is that they honour the people involved in these businesses and not just their produce or services.

"These awards provide a cause for celebration in a time of great uncertainty for many in the countryside. Our local produce is second to none and there are many community heroes and businesses worthy of national recognition."