A RYEDALE pub has won a “rural Oscar”, receiving praise for its friendly atmosphere and locally-sourced food.

The Blacksmith’s Arms in Lastingham was awarded a 2019 Countryside Alliance Award for best pub in Yorkshire, and now has a shot at national glory.

The awards, now in their 14th year, are the Countryside Alliance’s annual celebration of rural produce, skills, enterprise and heritage through small businesses in five categories - local produce, village shop or post office, butcher, rural enterprise and pub.

The Blacksmith’s Arms beat the Boot and Slipper in Barmby Moor, the Clarendon Hotel in Skipton and the Goodmanham Arms in Goodmanham to clinch the Yorkshire prize.

Commenting on the pub, the judges said: “The Blacksmith’s Arms is an old-fashioned country pub, where everyone is welcome. There are only 60 people living permanently in Lastingham but the pub is busy, with visitors and people from the surrounding area and all 60 locals.

“Food in the restaurant comes from local farms and shoots, with game tasting nights and gourmet nights popular events.”

They picked out landlord Peter Trafford for praise and added: “If you run out of milk or eggs, you can just pop into the pub and Peter will find some from the kitchen. Their frozen pies are a big hit with holiday makers.”

Countryside Alliance awards director Sarah Lee said they had received more than 17,000 nominations this year.

“This year’s regional winners are all truly exceptional. We have been overwhelmed by nominations this year,” she said. “The secret to the Rural Oscars’ popularity is that they honour the people involved in these businesses and not just their produce or services.

“They exist to sing the praises of those who work hard to keep our communities and rural economy ticking, but don’t seek the spotlight.

“These awards provide a cause for celebration in a time of great uncertainty in the countryside. Our local produce is second to none and there are many community heroes and businesses worthy of national recognition.”

The regional champions now advance to the national finals, to be held at the House of Lords on Wednesday, June 19.