TWO North Yorkshire businesses have been awarded ‘Rural Oscars’ .

The Countryside Alliance Awards – now in their 17th year – recognise rural businesses across five categories, including ‘best local food’, ‘best butcher’, ‘best pub’, ‘best rural enterprise’, and ‘best village shop/ post office’.

Yorkshire Wolds Apple Juice Co, based near Norton, won the best local food category while The Durham Ox, at Crayke was named best pub.

Thousands of nominations from around the country were whittled down via a public vote, with the final few advancing to the finals. The winner of each category will go on to represent the North of England in the national champions reception at the House of Lords in June, competing against other finalists from around England, Wales, Scotland, and Northern Ireland.

Sarah Lee, Countryside Alliance Director of Policy, said: "We are proud to be honouring these exceptional rural businesses in the North, and the people behind them who are passionate about providing quality goods, services, and employment to rural communities and beyond. Running a business in a rural community isn’t easy, and it’s so important to celebrate the valued role these rural enterprises have in their communities. We look forward to seeing them in London at the national champions reception."

Jane Birch, who runs Yorkshire Wolds Apple Juice Co with her husband Jon, said: "We are thrilled to have been awarded the Countryside Alliance Award for the North of England Best Local Food and Drink as this award was decided by public vote. It means that the people who voted for us appreciate how passionate we are about making delicious juices of the highest quality from English fruits, supporting local and national growers and farmers, and they love how naturally delicious they are. People appreciate that we work hard to ensure we offer excellent customer service to the businesses we supply , people who buy juice from us and our pressing service customers. It's great to know that people think we are doing a fantastic job.

"We are looking forward to representing the North of England at the National Champions reception in London in June and showing the national judging panel why our family business deserves to win the overall champions title."

The winners of the 2024 Countryside Alliance Northern Awards were as follows:

Local Food: Yorkshire Wolds Apple Juice Co, North Yorkshire

Rural Enterprise: GunDogsDirect, South Yorkshire

Village Shop and Post Office: Lowick Village Store, Northumberland

Butcher: Broom House Farm, Durham

Pub: The Durham Ox, North Yorkshire

The following businesses received highly commended awards:

Local Food: Levens Kitchen & Bakery, Cumbria

Rural Enterprise: Thimbleby Shooting Ground, North Yorkshire

Village Shop and Post Office: Slaley Community Shop, Northumberland

Butcher: Holmside Farm Fresh, Durham

Pub: The White Bear Hotel, North Yorkshire