FOUR businesses are celebrating winning regional titles in the annual Countryside Alliance Awards.

The businesses are all based around York and North Yorkshire and now go forward to the grand final to bid for the British title.

The local winners were Tollerton Post Office & Shop for the Village Shop Award, Beadlam Grange Farm Shop at Pockley for the local food award, the Daily Telegraph Traditional Business Award was won by Johnson’s of Thirsk while the Rural Enterprise Award went to Fodder, at the Great Yorkshire Showground, in Harrogate.

The head judge was Steve Clark who explained why Tollerton Post Office had won.

He said: “Going that extra mile for customers new and old especially, in the current cold snap, shows Tollerton’s worth. Over ten years they have managed to increase turnover from £3,000 a week to more than £14,000 by concentrating on local, traceable produce with dedication to customer service ensuring that the old and the house bound do receive their deliveries and are safe and well.

“With the closure of the post office in 2008 they opted for an outreach post office with a vastly reduced income, but kept up the service to provide a heart to the local community.”

Phil Lancaster, of Tollerton shop, said it was a great honour.

He said: “We’ve been very fortunate to win numerous prizes in the Flavours of Hambleton awards, but to be recognised by something as wide ranging as the Countryside Alliance which is a national organisation is marvellous and it’s testament to the staff and customers who frequent the shop.”

Beadlam Grange Farm Shop of Pockley was singled out for its commitment to local produce.

Mr Clark said: “With Beadlam supplying all their own beef and sheep to their farm shop, coupled with a dedicated team to provide the very best in customer services, they are worthy winners. They have a huge variety of traditional dishes with a local twist – not only local produce. Even their shop was kitted out with locally-made furniture; they could not be more local if they tried.”

The Countryside Alliance Awards celebrate the characters, skills, traditions and enterprise of the countryside through the people who work so hard to make it tick.