A THIRSK-based artisan cheese producer is celebrating after scooping a host of prestigious industry awards this summer.

Shepherds Purse Cheeses, a second-generation family run company, were awarded a total of 11 accolades at the recent Great Yorkshire Show, including five golds for Yorkshire Blue, Buffalo Blue and Mrs Bell’s Blue amongst others.

They also took first second and third place in the Consumer Choice Blue Cheese class, a class that is judged by 50 show attendees, with Yorkshire Blue and Harrogate Blue securing the top spots.

The Great Yorkshire Show awards come hot on the heels of another host of prizes with the company having won a gold and two bronzes at the recent British Cheese Awards held at the Bath and West Show Ground in Somerset in June.

Now in their 26th year, the annual British Cheese Awards attract over 800 entries from across the UK and Ireland.

Bluemin White was awarded the top honour in the Soft White Blue category taking home a gold, while the two bronzes were given to Yorkshire Fettle and Mrs Bells Blue in the Non-Cows Milk and Blue Goat/Sheep/Buffalo categories respectively.

Shepherds Purse director Katie Matten said: “We’re absolutely thrilled with our recent success at the Great Yorkshire Show and British Cheese Awards. "They’re a great showcase of the fantastic cheese produced throughout the UK and Ireland and we’re delighted to be amongst the winners in such huge and well-respected competitions.”

The awards come in the middle of an exciting summer for the Shepherds Purse team who celebrated their 30th anniversary this month.

Judy Bell launched her very first sheep milk cheeses at the show and is now Chairman of the company.

She said “It’s a very proud moment for me as we celebrate how far we’ve come in 30 years. We’re part of a fabulous speciality cheese industry community in the UK and Ireland, and part of a great culture of food in Yorkshire.

"I look forward to the next 30 years.”