The Countryside Alliance (CA) is looking for a rural hero for 2008, as part of its revamped annual awards.

The hero can be nominated from any walk of country life – teacher, hunt master, gamekeeper, rural journalist by anyone from the general public.

The awards used to be called the Countryside Alliance’s Best Rural Retailer — but have been broadened for 2008.

A spokesman for the CA said: “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.”

The CA hopes that the awards will showcase all the best qualities
found in the countryside, by highlighting some of the unsung heroes of
everyday life.

As well as a category for rural hero, there is also a new category for
politicians who have shown dedication to rural issues.

The categories are: 1) Local food award 2) Village shop/Post Office award 3)
Rural enterprise award 4) Traditional business award 5) Rural hero of 2008.

And the politician categories are: 1)The Grassroots award for community
campaigning (open to councillors, devolved bodies and the members of the UK
and Irish parliaments) 2) The Westminster award for bringing the countryside
to parliament 3) The Rural Vision award for the politician with the
countryside’s future at heart.

The nominations will be accepted between 1 September and 27 October.

Winners will be announced next year with a reception for all
winners on 18 March 2009 at the House of Lords in London. More info can be
found at http://www.countryside-alliance.org.uk