SCOTLAND’S BEST rural businesses have been recognised in the Scottish Countryside Alliance Awards, with outdoor clothing and footwear specialist Hoggs of Fife among the winners.

Some 5,000 people from across Scotland voted for their favourite rural businesses with butchers, bakers, delis, local shops and hospitality businesses among the finalists who gathered at the National Museum of Scotland for the Scottish Champions Reception.

The awards celebrate rural communities and the role that rural businesses play in keeping them vibrant by promoting and defending rural life across Scotland.

Scottish Countryside Alliance director Jake Swindells said: “The Scottish public voted in droves for their favourite rural businesses and every business nominated should be incredibly proud of how highly regarded they are in their local communities.

“This is a particularly tough time for many businesses in the countryside and we must do everything we can do to help them thrive.”

The winning businesses will represent Scotland at the UK Championships Reception at the House of Lords in May at the UK Champions Reception.

Loch Leven Larder, Kinross, won the Local Food Award with another Kinross business, Hunters, winning the Butcher Award. The Buccleuch Arms in Melrose won the Pub Award with Hoggs of Fife picking up the Rural Enterprise Award.

Meanwhile, the Village Shop and Post Office Award went to Humbie Hub in East Lothian.