HAWKESBURY Upton has become the only location in the South West to see two of its rural enterprises in the regional finals of the Countryside Alliance Awards. 

Community-owned shop, Hawkesbury Stores, and AJ Morgan Farm Produce have been announced as regional finalists in the 2017 Countryside Alliance Awards - also known as the ‘Rural Oscars’. 
The awards are the Countryside Alliance’s annual celebration of British food, farming, enterprise and heritage. 

Now in their 13th year, the awards are driven by public nominations, offering customers the chance to say why their favourite businesses are worthy of national acclaim. 

Hawkesbury Stores is a community-owned village shop, rescued from closure thanks to more than 300 local shareholders. 

It opened in June 2016, and is run with a mix of paid staff and volunteers. It provides a wide and growing range of everyday essentials alongside artisan produce sourced from the local area. 

Farmer, Andrew Morgan, along with his wife Karen, opened The Farm Shop at Hawkesbury to provide an outlet for the meat they produce on the farm.

Priding themselves on offering the very best quality pork, lamb and Aberdeen Angus beef, they have earned a reputation for being a “proper farm shop.”

Homemade pies, sausages, home cured bacon and cooked meats sit side-by-side on the shelves with foodstuffs produced by small local businesses.

Chris Couzins-Short, chairman of the Stores’ Voluntary Management Group, said: “We’re incredibly proud and excited that the community’s efforts have paid off by having Hawkesbury Stores shortlisted for a Rural Oscar.

“Further, we’re delighted that our wonderful, vibrant, thriving village has been recognised in two finalist places - what an achievement.”

Andrew Morgan, of AJ Morgan Farm Produce, said: “We were so proud to have been nominated for a Rural Oscar. 

“Now, to find out that we are one of only five finalists in our category for the South West region, is truly amazing. We can’t thank our customers enough for their support and recognition.

“It’s brilliant that two businesses in our village have got this far - it’s really put Hawkesbury Upton on the map.”