Dave Hull, who runs both the Blanchland Shop and Post Office, and The Old Village Shop in Edmundbyers Northumberland, was awarded with his Countryside Alliance Awards prize on Friday 6 October by local MP Guy Opperman.

The 2016 Countryside Alliance Awards, nicknamed the ‘Rural Oscars’, saw Mr Hull win a “Rural Hero” award in recognition for his community contribution. In addition to the main awards, the “Rural Hero” award is only occasionally awarded to those exceptional people that go the extra mile to help the people in their community.

The 2016 Rural Oscars awards were handed out by then Environment Secretary Andrea Leadsom MP at a Parliamentary reception (22nd March), but unfortunately Mr Hull was unable to attend the reception which is why Guy Opperman MP is to present him with his award at the Blanchland Shop and Post Office.

Tim Bonner, Chief Executive of the Countryside Alliance, said: “Dave is so central to his corner of Northumberland, running not just one, but two village shops – one at Blanchland and one at Edmundbyers. His love of this part of the country sees him do all he can to support local people and provide local jobs. The area relies hugely on shooting and conservation, and during the grouse season Dave will be out on the moors helping on shoot days. But more than that he is a local legend who is committed to ensuring that a remote and seasonally dependent part of the country can thrive year-round.”

Guy Opperman, Member of Parliament for Hexham commented: “I am honoured to have been able to present the “Rural Hero” award to Dave Hull. Dave thoroughly deserves this special award as he has gone above and beyond to help and serve his local community. Northumberland is very lucky to have him. If you want to make sure that your rural businesses are recognised then make sure you vote in the Countryside Alliance Awards.”

The 2017 Countryside Alliance Awards are now open to the public for nominations and this year we have introduced a new “Best Pub” category to the fold. The Awards are the Countryside Alliance’s annual celebration of British food & farming, enterprise and heritage through our small hard-working businesses. They are set apart from other award schemes because they are driven by public nomination, offering customers the chance to tell us why their favourite businesses are worthy of national acclaim. Judges will not just be looking for evidence of great produce, customer service and innovation, but stories like Dave’s of how businesses serve their communities.

Nominations can be made online here.