A Cotswolds couple who make vodka from sheep's milk were among the winners at this year’s Farmers Weekly Awards.

Tim and Tanya Spittle from Blockley received the diversification award at the ceremony in London.

The award was presented to them in front of a packed audience of farmers and industry representatives at the Grosvenor House Hotel, Park Lane, where comedian Russel Kane was the host.

A spokesperson for the awards said “Tim Spittle first started the farm’s diversification journey nearly 15 years ago with the launch of an urban-style gym, Freestyle 360, to cater to the many former city folk moving to the Cotswolds.

“The gym proved successful with over 300 members, but did not offer a long-term solution to further develop and grow what was once a strong mixed farm in the North Cotswolds.

“Pulling a positive out of a challenging situation when the pandemic forced the gym to temporarily close, Tim and his wife Tanya used the extra time on their hands to lay the foundation work for what they describe as the UK’s rarest spirit – Blacklion Vodka – a smooth, sipping vodka made from distilled sheep’s milk and Cotswolds spring water.

“They have steadily built up their flock numbers, and now have about 600 of the curly-fleeced milking ewes.

“The judges were thoroughly impressed by the brilliant marketing and quality of their product.

Diversification Farmer of the Year independent judge and National Agricultural Strategy Director at Barclays Oliver McEntyre said: “Tim and Tanya have taken a long look at the farming business and developed a high-quality brand and very special product.

"This is a great achievement, spurred on by local collaborations and skill sets”