A BALA butcher has produced the best beef burgers in Britain.

Mark Watkins, who owns Cigydd Bala Butchers, won first prize for burgers in the Great British Butcher Awards held at Harrogate.

Mark said: “I’ve entered the competition for the past eight years. This year I had to send sample burgers and sausages to an initial judgement in Telford. I believe there were 800 competitors. I was chosen to be one of three finalists in the burger section.

“We had to take samples to Harrogate for judging and they were cooked although they kept some raw to measure the cooked one against to measure shrinkage. The judges tasted the burgers. I was declared winner for the burgers.

“How I make the burgers is a secret, the recipe has evolved, it is a beef burger with onion.

“It was an extremely tough competition with more than 400 entries, out of which three finalists were selected.

“I feel very pleased at the result, I never thought I would achieve it, although my 12 year old son who was with me was confident I would win throughout.”

Mark has been in the butchery trade for about 30 years and has owned his own business in Bala for 11 years.