Countryside Alliance Awards

This article originally appeared in The Herald Newspaper on 24th October 2018. 

The Countryside Alliance Awards are now open for nominations until December 9th. The Awards, also known as the ‘Rural Oscars’, recognise and honour those who routinely go the extra mile for their community and consequently give a voice and platform to the best of our produce, enterprise, heritage and communities.

The Awards are a national scheme that honour thousands of businesses, highlighting the efforts of many people for the benefit of their rural communities. The winners of the Awards have always said how their recognition has not only had positive impacts on themselves, but on everyone they know. Additionally, the Awards bring a boost to the businesses of winners, however big or small they may be. Importantly, the Awards also reach millions of people through the media, taking a positive story about the modern countryside, its heritage, produce and enterprise, to urban and rural Britain alike.

The winners of the Awards will be announced in June 2019 at the grand final at the House of Lords. Anybody from the public can nominate their winner. You can nominate a local retailer in 5 categories. Food & Drink, Village Shop/Post Office, Butcher, Rural Enterprise or Local Pub.

I very much encourage you to support the Awards and help celebrate the achievements of rural businesses within your community. You can nominate online at

Following on from my column last month on the the Agriculture Bill I also wanted to let you know that the House of Commons Public Bill Committee are asking for your views. If you missed by previous column, the Bill replaces the Common Agricultural Policy after we leave the EU. It has an increased focus on the environment and makes farming subsidies more flexible.

If you have any comments or recommendations for the Bill you can submit written evidence to the Committee up to November 20th. I would recommend doing this as soon as possible, as the Committee can finish early if they feel they have properly considered the Bill. You can email your recommendations to