THREE Ryedale businesses have been named as Yorkshire finalists in the Countryside Alliance Awards for 2011.

Hunters, of Helmsley, is among four contenders in the local food category, while long-established Wardill Brothers General Store, at Thornton-le-Dale, is in the village shop and post office group.

In the enterprise section, Hovingham Village Market, which has already scooped several awards since it was established, is named.

Nicknamed the Rural Oscars, the awards are now in their seventh year, said Simon Hamlyn, the Alliance’s Yorkshire regional director.

“They celebrate 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 customers and supporters and hopes to go all the way to the Parliamentary final next March.”