THE Wessex finalists in the Countryside Alliance Awards have been announced, with 12 top businesses from across the region vying for one of four regional titles and the chance of national acclaim.

The Countryside Alliance Awards, now in their sixth year, celebrate the characters, skills, traditions and enterprise of the countryside. Each finalist has received numerous nominations from customers and supporters.

They include The Traditional Beef Company of Farley and Fontmell Magna Village Shop and Post Office.

Countryside Alliance Wessex judge Bryher Barrett said: “Judging these awards is encouraging because I can see at first hand the hard work being put into making rural businesses thrive.

"The rural economy continues to go through tough times, but these small businesses have the passion and commitment to keep going, no matter what, and their communities appreciate them because of it. We have had many heartfelt nominations for these businesses and I look forward to judging them.”