ASTWOOD Bank’s Pete The Meat is the best butcher’s shop in the Midlands, and that’s official.

The Evesham Road shop is one of just 10 regional finalists in the Countryside Alliance Awards and staff will be off to the House of Lords for the finals on March 7.

Owner, Pete Lawton, who started off as a butcher’s lad at the old Co-op in the village eventually took over the premises and turned it into his own business.

He said: “It’s amazing. I can’t believe we’ll be off to the House of Lords for the national final.”

Customers vote for their favourite butchers and the support from the villagers has been enormous, he said.

The other staff, Pete and Paul, have also shown the same commitment, being there for more than 20 years between them.

The awards are now in the seventh year and are held to celebrate the characters, skills, traditions and enterprise of the countryside through the people who work to make it tick.

Sara Rutherford from the Countryside Alliance said: “As the name would suggest, Pete the Meat is a real local character who absolutely typifies the great British butcher.

“Pete and his team are exceptionally welcoming to customers old and new and are as friendly as they are knowledgeable about the produce they sell.

“Pete sources his meat and other produce from local suppliers whenever he can, he rears his own pigs and geese, cures his own bacon and makes his own pies, burgers, faggots and much more.

“His meat and other produce is so good his reputation has spread, ensuring people travel from miles away to his shop.

“More than that, Pete’s enthusiasm for good food is inspiring new generations to discover the joy and taste of home cooked food and that is something worth celebrating.”