People of Ayr, Carrick and Cumnock are being encouraged to to get nominating for the countryside awards.

SNP MSP, Elena Whitham is calling on her constituents to shine a light on the businessmen and women who do so much for the rural area.

The Countryside Alliance Awards, nicknamed the ‘Rural Oscars’, were borne of a need to support and promote rural communities.

They celebrate people going the extra mile to ensure that rural Scotland’s food and farming industry, small businesses, traditional skills, forward-thinking enterprises and, most of all, its people, can flourish.

Carrick, Cumnock, and Doon Valley representative, Elena Whitham now wants her constituents to take part in the awards.

Ms Whitham said: “The Countryside Alliance Awards are an excellent way to promote the local businessmen and women who are working hard to keep rural Scotland thriving.

“Our local produce is second to none and there are many community heroes and businesses worthy of national recognition, so please get involved and nominate today.

"Let’s see if we can bring a Scottish title home and tell a positive story about Ayrshire.”

The awards run across the following categories: Local Food Award; Village shop/ Post Office Award; Rural Enterprise Award; Butcher Award and Rural Pub Award.

Nominations are open online at until November 12.