HAMPSHIRE firms championing our rural economy are vying for the chance of national acclaim.

The Countryside Alliance Awards, now in their sixth year, celebrates the characters, skills, traditions and enterprise of the countryside.

And six of the South of England finalists are from Hampshire and are represented in three out of four categories after receiving numerous nominations from customers and supporters.

Those chasing the Village Shop and Post Office accolades are Abbotts Ann Village Shop, Cheriton Post Office and Stores and Alresford, and Enham Alamein Shop and Post Office.

Hampshire Fare, local food and hospitality champions based in Winchester, is a Rural Enterprise finalist.

Sophie Boxall, Hampshire Fare public relations and marketing officer, said: “It is testament to the hard work which involved the farmers, producers and the businesses who take part and supported the Hampshire Food Festival.”

John Robinson, from Stockbridge has made it to the butcher category finals.