STUART Saunders Butchers in West Coker have just been named as a South West finalist in this year's Countryside Alliance Awards.

They will now go head-to-head with T. Buttling Butchers of Ludwell, Shaftesbury, and Thomas O'Keeffe and Father, of Looe, Cornwall, to win the regional category and the chance of national acclaim.

The Countryside Alliance Awards, nicknamed the ‘Rural Oscars’, are now in their seventh year of celebrating the characters, skills, traditions and enterprise of the countryside through the people who work so hard to make it tick.

Each finalist has received numerous nominations from adoring customers and supporters and hopes to go all the way to the Parliamentary final next March.

Countryside Alliance South West regional director Alison Hawes said: “These businesses represent the very best of the South West’s produce, enterprise and community spirit and I congratulate the finalists on getting this far in what is an increasingly competitive awards scheme.

"I am really looking forward to getting out and meeting the people behind each business and speaking to them about their valued contribution to our rural economy and communities.”

Regional winners will be announced in January. They will then go forward to the grand final which will be held at Parliament on March 7, 2012, where an overall champion will be named.