BUSINESSES in West Dorset are among the finalists vying for a regional ‘rural Oscar’.

The South West of England’s finalists in the 2013 Countryside Alliance Awards, the annual celebration of rural produce, skills, enterprise and heritage, have been announced. The awards are now in their ninth year and have become the definitive rural business award to win, says the Countryside Alliance.

Finalists are now being judged and a winner in each category announced in the new year. Regional Champions go through to the Grand Final to be held at Parliament in April 2014.

Dorset entrants include Bride Valley Farm Shop of Abbotsbury, Dorset Larder of Blandford, and Dike & Son of Stalbridge, while the county is also represented in the Start-up category with Black Cow Vodka of Seaborough.