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BUTCHERS are being urged to enter a competition to find the best pies and sausages in the county.

The county’s food group, Hampshire Fare, is on the look-out for entries for its Great Hampshire Sausage and Pie Competition.

The contest is an opportunity to celebrate Hampshire’s butchers.

There are 13 categories to enter; from traditional sausages to ready meals and pies.

Winners are picked by a panel of specialist judges.

One winner of each category is announced along with a supreme champion, Hampshire Fare award and New Forest marque award sponsored by Eric Robinson Solicitors.

Tracy Nash, commercial manager, said: ‘We urge Hampshire’s butchers to get involved in the competition.

‘It is a chance to be noticed for what you do. Many of our competition winners have gone on to achieve great things.’

The competition is being sponsored by the Agriculture and Horticulture Development Board (AHDB), Dalziel, Lucas Ingredients and Hampshire-based companies pmdc design, Mozzo Coffee and South England Pastries.

Stephen Farmer of AHDB Pork said: ‘By helping to champion innovation through competitions like the Great Hampshire Sausage and Pie Competition, we support our farmers by raising the public’s awareness of the amazing and delicious produce available down our local high streets.

‘We wish all the entrants the best of luck.’

Previous years have seen Buckwells of Southsea recognised for its Sundodger sausage and its meatballs and faggots.

Hayden Voller from Grover Butchers in Bishop’s Waltham won Young Sausage Maker of the Year for his Dragon’s Breath sausage in 2015. And best speciality pie went to Mum and Dad’s Kitchen in Southsea for its gluten-free chicken and chorizo pie.

The final takes place on Wednesday, February 22 at the Holiday Inn in Winchester.

The winner of the competition will go on to represent Hampshire in the national competition.

For more go to hampshirefare.co.uk. The closing date is February 16.