A CHEESEMAKER who lost a six-year legal battle to label her cheese "feta" has unveiled its new name - "beta".

Judy Bell, of Shepherds Purse Cheeses, branded European bureaucrats idiots after they ruled that only cheese from Greece can be called feta.

Her company, in Thirsk, North Yorkshire, has produced a tonne a week of Yorkshire "feta" since 1987.

Now, after support and suggestions of new names flooding in from across the country, Mrs Bell has decided to call her cheese Yorkshire Beta.

She said: "I've had hundreds of letters and e-mails since the ruling, with people offering support and suggestions of new names. I even had one letter from a litigation lawyer offering to help.

"About 75 per cent of people suggested I should rename the cheese Yorkshire Beta."

Other names suggested included Yorkshire Fettle.

And Mrs Bell said she is not bothered what Euro chiefs think about the new name.

She said: "Everybody said it was a ridiculous decision.

"We have until 2007 to change the name and we'll change it subtly and slowly. I've spoken to trading standards and they didn't say no, so we'll give it a whirl and see what happens."

The new name has got the support of North Yorkshire MP Anne McIntosh.

Miss McIntosh, MP for the Vale of York, said yesterday she has tabled an Early Day Motion in Parliament promoting the cheese company.

She said: "It is important people do all they can to support local produce and have therefore tabled this motion to allow fellow MPs to place on record their support for high-quality Yorkshire produce."

The European Court of Justice confirmed that Greek feta had protected designation of origin status after a challenge by German and Danish cheese producers in October.