NORTH Pembrokeshire has netted a brace of awards at the recent Countryside Alliance's awards, often dubbed the rural Oscars.

St Dogmaels local producers' market, Crymych butcher Ken Davies, Siop y Pentref in Cilgerran and Maenclochog's Siop Sarah Post Office all came home with awards, following a special reception for all the finalists at the Welsh Assembly in Cardigan.

The prestigious awards are the Countryside Alliance's annual celebration of rural produce, skills, enterprise and heritage carried out at small hard-working businesses which go the extra mile for their communities. During this, its 13th year, more than 11,000 nominations were received across the five categories.

The St Dogmaels market was named the best in Wales in the local food and drink category; Crymych's Ken Davies took the runner-up prize in the butchers' category; Siop Y Pentre was highly commended in the village shop/post office category as was Siop Sarah.

Siop Sarah's owner, Sarah Eynon, was also honoured with the prestigious Rural Hero award. The award is not routinely handed out each year, only when the judges feel that amongst the a particular person has stood out among the nominees for their contribution to their community.

With "over 30 years of service to her community with a constant smile and a willingness to go above and beyond the call of duty" Sarah was one such nominee.

Sarah also received a highly commended in recognition of the fact that nothing is too much trouble for her and she will go the extra mile for any of her customers.

"Sarah Eynon has provided her community with an unreserved service," said the awards host.

"As described by one of her supporters, you can buy anything from Sarah, from a scone to a stamp to a spanner."

St Dogmaels market, now in its ninth year, is held every Tuesday in the village and continues to go from strength to strength. The market will now go on to the grand final at the Houses of Parliament in London for the coveted prize of British champion.

"We are delighted to have won," said market spokesman Nia Siggins. "I think it is an endorsement of the quality of the produce we have here. We have such varied produce as well, all from the local area, and I think the judges saw that."

Butcher Ken Davies was equally delighted to take the runner-up spot in his category.

"Just to have been nominated by our customers and then to get to the final itself is simply brilliant and we cannot thank them enough," said Ken, a fourth-generation butcher.

Siop Y Pentre at Cilgerran also thanked its customers for their support.

"We are grateful that we are so well supported by the village and it was their nominations that got us to the finals," said owner Nia Morris.