AN MP has urged residents to nominate their “local country champions” for an award.

The Countryside Alliance Awards, known as the ‘Rural Oscars’, opened for nominations on 9 September.

Its seven categories, including Local Food/Drink, Village Shop/Post Office and Rural Enterprise, celebrate excellence in rural heritage, produce and enterprise.

North East Hampshire MP Ranil Jayawardena said: “North East Hampshire has some incredible farmers, producers, butchers, pubs and shops, all of which demonstrate the best of rural living.

“I’d love for them all to get the recognition they deserve so, if there’s a local business making a difference in your area, why not nominate them for a Countryside Alliance Award?”

Nominations will close on December 8, with the grand final being held at the House of Lords next June.