REGULARS who have raised almost £160,000 to save their local pub are appealing for drinkers to keep battling against an application to convert it into a house.

An action group wants as many people as possible to write to Herefordshire Council to objection to the application for The Live and Let Live at Bringsty Common, near Bromyard.

The owner wants to convert the 400-year-old pub into a house.

"We need as much support as possible to stop this application," said Derek Brooks, chairman of the Bringsty Action Group, which has campaigned to save the pub.

"The application has been turned down four times before so we are quite hopeful."

The campaign was highlighted at the launch of the Good Beer Guide 2002, which was unveiled at The Bell at Pensax, near Abberley, earlier this week.

CAMRA, which produced the guide, told how only a third of Britain's rural parishes still have a pub, and closures were still running at a rate of six per week.

But many people were unwilling to give their village pub up without a fight, as it was often the only facility left after post offices and village shops had closed.

In many cases, pubs had been bought up and closed by people who want to convert them into homes or other businesses.

Regulars at The Horseshoe in Brooms Green, near Ledbury, have been campaigning against headteacher Chris Tweedale, who has applied to convert the pub into a bed and breakfast.

The pub is currently shut, and the village has already lost its shop and post office.

Campaigners are also battling against the conversion of the Rock Cross, in Rock, near Bewdley.

More than 200 supporters sent letters from across the country to Wyre Forest District Council objecting to the application.

Anyone who wants to object to the application to convert the Live and Let Live should write to the development control department of Herefordshire Council at development control, planning services, Herefordshire Council, Lion House, Broad Street, Leominster, Herefordshire.