A Herefordshire butcher has been crowned the best in the UK for the third year running.

Hanks’ Meat & Game in Ross-on-Wye was crowned best Game Butcher at the Eat Game Awards 2023, which were held in London last Thursday. 

The Broad Street shop also won the award last year and the year before. 

As well as being named champion, Hanks’ Meat and Game received a cheque for ÂŁ1,000, presented by the category’s sponsor, Game Meat Wales. 

The awards marked the culmination of a national search to find businesses and individuals championing the use of British wild game. More than 11,000 votes were cast by the public, with the shortlisted businesses and individuals in each category going forward to be reviewed by a panel of expert judges. 

The Eat Game Awards are organised and run by the British Association for Shooting and Conservation’s (BASC) Eat Game initiative, which promotes the nutrition, taste and sustainability benefits of British wild game.

The awards ceremony, which was hosted by rural TV presenter Adam Henson, saw the winners of eight categories announced. Categories included best small retailer, best restaurant/pub and best game butcher. An overall winner was crowned Champion of Champions in a category sponsored by BASC.

After receiving the award, Hanks’ Meat and Game owner Tim Hanks said: “I’m completely over the moon. I wasn’t expecting this, I didn’t think we would get it for the third year running so I’m really pleased.

“I’m quite passionate about game meat because It’s always been close to my heart. I just really enjoy getting out different cuts of meat, different species. Some people haven’t tried it before so I just like to promote it and get it out there.”

Annette Woolcock, Eat Game Awards co-ordinator and BASC’s head of wild food, said: â€śThe fact that Hanks’ Meat and Game have won this award three consecutive years running shows the standard and passion of the business. The judges said Tim was very proud of the fact that much of the game is supplied by himself and he is therefore able to give the full story of the products. The judges also commented on Hanks’ Meat and Game’s excellent promotion of game meat, with great messaging of sustainability through short films featured on social media.”

Adam Henson, awards host and Country Food Trust patron, said: “Once again, the Eat Game awards have exceeded all expectations with some fantastic individuals and businesses being showcased. The standard of entries grows each year, reflecting and showcasing the progress achieved and success gained in the game meat sector since the awards were launched five years ago.

“I was delighted to once again play a part in giving those who have worked so hard the recognition they so deserve. Congratulations to everyone involved.”

This year marks the fifth anniversary of the launch of the Eat Game Awards. All entries were nominated via the website, before the public voted on each category, whittling down the nominees to those who made it to the final.

 For more information on the awards, click here.