A KENDAL butcher has been shortlisted as a finalist for a national award. 

Roast Mutton has been named in the Butcher category of the Countryside Alliance Awards 2023. 

The awards are the Countryside Alliance's annual celebration of British food & farming, enterprise and heritage through our small hard-working businesses.

The awards are now in their sixteenth year and have become the definitive rural business award to win. 

They are set apart from other award schemes because they are driven by public nomination, offering customers the chance to tell them why their favourite businesses are worthy of national acclaim.

The Westmorland Gazette: Roast MuttonRoast Mutton (Image: Submitted)

Roast Mutton is the realisation of owner Robert Unwin's ambition to create something truly special in the Cumbrian market town of Kendal.

Having spent some considerable time in the Lakes as a child and as a young adult, Robert was very aware of the county's unique combination of passionate farmers, family-owned abattoirs and fine grazing - which is why Robert decided to bring his vision of farm-to-table eating to the town, selling only locally reared heritage and rare breed grass fed beef, lamb and mutton, as well as pork, poultry and carefully selected locally sourced game.

Robert Unwin said: ''We're all really chuffed that Roast Mutton has been shortlisted for a 'Rural Oscar'. This award category recognises our meticulous approach to helping customers understand where their meat has come from, our aim to use "everything but the moo," with the goal of zero wasted protein, and above all else helping to support our local farming industry.''

Winners will be chosen via a public vote in February and announced in the spring.

Countryside Alliance Awards Director Sarah Lee said: ''We have been overwhelmed by nominations this year. The secret to the Rural Oscars' popularity is that they honour the people involved in these businesses and not just their produce or services.

"They exist to sing the praises of those who work hard to keep our communities and rural economy ticking, but don’t seek the spotlight. These awards provide a cause for celebration in a time of great uncertainty in the countryside. Our local produce is second to none and there are many community heroes and businesses worthy of national recognition.''

The winners of each region will be up against fellow winners from around the UK and the national champion will be announced at the House of Lords in the national champions reception in May.