More than 40 rural businesses in Dorset are in the running to scoop a prestigious award.

Nominations are still open for the Countryside Alliance Awards, but organisers say there have already been lots of entries from Dorset.

One nomination came in the form of a poem, praising Sherborne-based Future Roots for being ‘A place where friendships bloom and grow, a refuge when we’re feeling low’.

Future Roots, a ‘green care’ facility that uses farming practices to help those with critical health, social or behavioural issues, was a south west winner in the rural enterprise category last year.

The awards, known as the Rural Oscars, are the Countryside Alliance’s annual celebration of British food & farming, enterprise and heritage through our small hard-working businesses. They are set apart from other award schemes because they are driven by public nomination, offering customers the chance to tell organisers why their favourite businesses are worthy of national acclaim. Judges will not just be looking for evidence of great produce, customer service and innovation, but stories of how businesses serve their communities.

Countryside Alliance Awards Director Sarah Lee said: “These awards are a fantastic way to applaud our rural businesses for all the hard work that they do to help keep our local communities alive. It is such an honour to be able to recognise the rural businesses that represent the best in Britain’s entrepreneurial spirit and who do a great job to promote our beautiful countryside. I would urge everyone who wants to support their local businesses and communities to nominate them and give them the boost they so richly deserve.”

Nominations close on December 9. Visit