THREE Borders businesses have emerged triumphant at an awards ceremony dubbed the ‘rural Oscars’.

The Countryside Alliance Scotland held its annual awards ceremony at the National Museum of Scotland in Edinburgh on Wednesday (March 13), where several Scottish rural businesses were crowned champions.

The awards – now in their 17th year – recognise rural businesses across five categories, including ‘best local food’, ‘best butcher’, ‘best pub’, ‘best rural enterprise’, and ‘best village shop/ post office’.

These businesses go the extra mile within their communities, supporting the local economy and championing local goods and services.

Thousands of nominations from around the country were whittled down via a public vote.

No less than three Borders businesses won in the five categories up for grabs.

The Black Bull in Lauder won the best ‘local food’ section.

Foston’s Fine Meats in Duns came out on top as ‘best butcher’ and the Gordon Arms Bar & Kitchen won ‘best pub’.

Additionally, Martin Baird Butchers in Melrose was “highly commended”.

The awards were presented by Director of the Countryside Alliance Scotland Jake Swindells and attended by a number of MSPs.

The winner of each category will go on to represent Scotland in the national champions reception at the House of Lords in June, competing against other finalists from Wales, Northern Ireland, and England.

Mr Swindells said: “Running a business in a rural community isn’t easy, particularly in recent times. The evening was all about celebrating the valued role these rural enterprises have in their communities.

“The Countryside Alliance is proud to be honouring a group of people so clearly passionate about the goods and services they provide throughout our incredible countryside.”