RURAL shops and businesses in the Bromsgrove and Droitwich area still have time to enter the Countryside Alliance's third annual Best Rural Retailer competition.

Showcasing the range of enterprise, produce and community spirit of the Midlands the nomination categories are: best local food retailer, best village shop/post office, best diversification and best traditional business To date, nominations - which close on October 6 - include Hartlebury Village Store - described as "a lifeline to many local people and the heart of the village".

CLA Midlands regional director Clare Rowson commented: "The Midlands is once again seizing the chance to celebrate its produce and people.

"With dwindling services and communities under threat there has never been a better time to unite and show the whole country the grit, determination and warmth of our communities".