BUSINESS owners in the Forest are crossing their fingers for even more accolades this month having already seen off thousands of entries to reach the finals of a regional lifestyle awards scheme.

Five local businesses have been named amongst the top five in Gloucestershire and Worcestershire across their respective categories in the ‘Muddy Stiletto’ Awards for 2022.

The annual awards from lifestyle website Muddy Stiletto celebrate thousands of lifestyle and tourism businesses and events across the country.

The five Forest businesses to reach the finals are glamping sites Hope Farm Retreats and the Hudnells Hideout, wedding venue Naas Court Farm, photography business Capture This Moment and floral designers Wye Valley Flowers.

St Briavels-based Jo Thompson, who co-owns both Wye Valley Flowers and Hope Farm Retreats, is doubly proud that both of her businesses have been named amongst the finalists.

Artisan flower farm and floral design business Wye Valley Flowers, ran by Jo and her friend Lucy, are nominated in the ‘Best Florist-based Business’ category.

Her glamping business Hope Farm Retreats, which she runs with her husband Mark and daughter Izzy, is up for ‘Most Sustainable Business’.

The owners use onsite water harvesting, composting loos and renewable energies to work towards carbon neutral status.

Jo said of her awards success: “We could not be more delighted, especially after a difficult couple of years.”

Hudnalls Hideout Luxury Treehouse, also in St Briavels, is in the ‘Best Boutique Stay’ category.

The treehouse, which is run by owners Sarah Orchard and her husband Adrian, has previously featured on Sandi Toksvig’s ‘Extraordinary Escapes’ on Channel 4 and has garnered excellent guest feedback since it opened on Valentine’s Day in 2020.

Sarah commented: “It’s great to have so many Forest of Dean businesses doing so well in these awards.”

Family-run Lydney venue Naas Court Lane, a “sympathetically restored” 16th century barn, is a finalist in the ‘Best Wedding Venue’ category, while Forest-based photography business Capture This Moment is up for ‘Best Photographer’.

Muddy Stilettos is described as an “insider’s guide to the very best food, walks, boutiques, day trips, hotels, interiors and events for smart, fun-loving women living outside London”, operating across 28 counties in the UK.

The business says this year’s awards are its “biggest and best yet”, with 500,000 nominations received.

Awards are made to one of five finalists in 27 lifestyle categories, with winners receiving national publicity via the website.

Nominees also have the opportunity to win £3,000 cash from awards sponsor Heathily, to be put towards improving the health and wellbeing of staff.

To vote for the local businesses, go to before next Wednesday (June 15), Winners will be announced on June 21.