Priory Farm at South Nutfield is celebrating being one of the South-east's finalists for a “rural oscar.”

The farm, a family-owned and managed business in Sandy Lane, which was recently praised by its own Oscar-winning and long-standing customer, Dame Judi Dench, who lives in the area, has reached the regional finals of the 2011 Countryside Alliance Awards.

Nicknamed the “rural oscars,” the awards, now in their seventh year, celebrate the characters, skills, traditions and enterprise of the countryside through the people who work in it.

Each finalist has to have received numerous nominations from customers and supporters.

Priory Farm is one of just three entrants to have reached the regional finals in the awards' enterprise category, hoping to go all the way to the Parliamentary final next March.

Countryside Alliance South East regional director Michelle Nudds, said: "These businesses represent the very best of the South-east's produce, enterprise and community spirit, and I congratulate the finalists on getting this far in what is an increasingly competitive awards scheme.”

She said: “I am really looking forward to getting out and meeting the people behind each business, and speaking to them about their valued contribution to our economy and communities."

Regional judging will now take place, with the winners to be announced in January.

They will then go forward to the grand final which will be held at Parliament on March 7, and the chance of national acclaim.

The awards nomination crowns a very successful year for the farm, which was also nominated to win the prestigious national Deli of the Year award, created and organised by Olives Et Al, supported by The Guild of Fine Food, and judged by some of the UK’s leading food experts.

For more details about the Countryside Alliance Awards visit the website: Priory Farm will hold its third annual Christmas Food Festival this Saturday (November 26) from 10am to 5pm, and this Sunday (November 27) from 10.30am to 4.30pm, with admission free. The Priory Farm website address is: