A FAMILY-RUN farm shop in the New Forest is on the shortlist of retailers in the running to be named Britain’s best small shop of 2018.

Hockey’s Farm near Fordingbridge, which specialises in food and craft from more than 40 local suppliers, has transformed a small butchers shop on a run down farm into a thriving farm shop. The offering also has a cafe and an antique/bric a brac shop.

Visitors have free access around the farm to meet the animals, poultry and birds in the aviary. In In a bid to support the environment, the business has recently had 140 solar panels installed as part of a programme to reduce its carbon footprint.

Couple Laura and Jonny Burrell bought the farm in partnership with Laura's parents Robin and Anne Norris in 2013.

Jonny told the Daily Echo at the time the site was in a "dilapidated" state and required a lot of work.

Since taking over they went about gradually making developments and improvements.

"We never really expected it to turn out this way," Jonny said. "It is a family run business which uses local produce where possible and provides a service to the small community around us.

"We focus very hard on customer service and we get involved with the community as much as we can.

"From early on we made a concious decision to get into the local area.

"We get tourists and holidaymakers, but local people are the bread and butter."

The farm employees 12 people and is able to offer Pannage pork after their pigs have been out in the New Forest.

Shortlisting for the best small shops competition is the second nomination the farm has received in recent weeks.

The best small shops competition, which is managed by the Independent Retailers Confederation (IRC), attempts to mark the commitment and creativity of independent retailers.

Mark Walmsley, chairman of the IRC, said: “Despite all of the bad headlines and the high-profile closures of larger stores, we firmly believe that specialist independent retailers can thrive in this climate by delivering a truly unique retail experience/

“The best small shops competition enables us celebrate this unique industry, the passion, service, flexibility and knowledge of independent shop owners offer and show customers what makes independent retailers so special.”

The winner will be announced at an event in the Houses of Parliament on November 13.