What an auspicious week it has been at Blackberry Farm shop!

Mike and Lizzy Kirby, who have farmed near Holsworthy for 25 years, were invited to the House of Lords by Baroness Malilieu to receive their South West Champion local food and drink award. The Countryside Alliance Award, also known as the Rural Oscars, recognises rural businesses who champion local food and drink and go above and beyond to serve their community.

Lizzy said: “We are delighted to have won such a prestigious award and would like to thank everyone who voted for us and for the wonderful comments and letters of support we received. It has been a tough few years for small businesses and it is lovely for our team to be recognised in this way.”

They were met at the reception by Sir Geoffrey Cox. Following the magnificent Awards Ceremony, they discussed the way forward for farming, small businesses and the rural community in Devon over afternoon tea, before Sir Geoffrey showed them around the House of Commons with a fascinating insight into its formidable history.

The week ended with Mike showing his cattle at the Devon County Show. He won Best of Breed with his homebred and fed Limousin heifer Koojan Sugarbabe and went on to win Reserve Commercial Champion and Supreme interbred Champion.

Top awards for Torridge farm and shop.