THIS is one of the quietest times of year for small rural businesses - the lull between half term and Christmas when visitors stay away in droves - and it is also British Food Fortnight.
So between now and November 10, the Country Land and Business Association (CLA) is urging all country folk to support their local traders by "thinking local, acting local and buying local."
The CLA has adopted a national policy of encouraging people to spend their money locally to help small rural businesses like shops, pubs and restaurants to survive - and British Food Fortnight, they say, is and ideal time to do just that.
Says CLA Chief Executive Mark Pendlington: "We are urging local people and visitors to the countryside to provide custom in village shops, to visit the local pubs, eat in local restaurants, use local manufacturers and services and, of course, to buy locally-produced food.
"We are also urging local people to act locally, to support community councils, village hall committees, youth clubs and local churches, all of which provide valuable focal points of rural life.
"Money spent locally benefits the whole community - that is the essential message behind this campaign and it offers a cornerstone upon which we can begin to rebuild a secure and prosperous future for our rural areas."