TWO Monmouthshire businesses are in the running for awards celebrating the countryside.

Dingestow Post Office and General Store, Monmouth and N S James Butchers, Raglan, are among 12 finalists nominated for the 2010 Countryside Alliance Awards.

Now in their sixth year, the awards celebrate the characters, skills, traditional and enterprise of the countryside.

Dingestow Post Office and General Store, run by Myra and Haydn Bowen, is up for a gong in the village shop/post office category.

Mrs Bowen said: “We've been running the store for about 12 years now. We've been runner up for the past two years, so we're hoping it's going to be third time lucky.

“It's great to be in the finals again. It's really nice that people have voted for us. We've got a great following of customers and it makes the job a bit more worth while.”

NS James Butchers are no strangers to the competition either, having been nominated in the butcher's category for the past two years.

Each of the finalists has received nominations from members of the public and now the finalists will go through to judging before finding out if they've won at a special reception at the Senedd in the New Year.

Winners of the Welsh categories will go through to the British finals.