Nominations for the Countryside Alliance Awards have opened early due to huge public demand.

The “Rural Oscars” have become increasingly popular over the past five years and honor rural skills and enterprise and the country’s food and farming heroes.

This year there is a new “grassroots award” category to recognise the huge contribution the 100,0000 plus members make to rural life and Countryside Alliance (CA) campaigns.

“Rural people tend to be doers rather than talkers, and are a modest lot, but we want to hear about what they are doing for the countryside and hope that admiring friends and neighbours will put them forward,” said a CA spokesman.

“Our members are from all walks of life, so we are expecting nominations for sub-postmasters, gamekeepers, vets, farriers, publicans, huntsmen, farmers, teachers, nurses, vicars — the list goes on.

“The new grassroots category is our way of praising our members and showcasing the good work that goes on for the benefit of the countryside we all love.”

The eight categories are:
1. Local food award
2. Village shop/ Post Office award
3. Enterprise award
4. Daily Telegraph traditional business award
5. Butcher Award
6. Hunter Boot rural hero (16 years and over)
7. Hunter Boot rural hero (15 years and under)
8. Grassroots award for the Countryside Alliance member who has done the most to enhance our rural campaigns

Nominations can be made online at: www.countrysideallianceawards.co.uk or by telephoning: 0207 840 9340 or emailing: awards@countryside-alliance.org

Nominations close at the end of October.