New CLA President sets out vision for rural businesses

Monmouthshire landowner and Chartered Surveyor Ross Murray today becomes President of the CLA, the membership organisation representing more than 33,000 landowners, farmers and rural businesses in England and Wales. He succeeds Gloucestershire farmer Henry Robinson, who completes his two year term as CLA President.

Mr Murray said: “The CLA continues to go from strength to strength, successfully representing our members at EU, national and local levels as well as providing expert practical advice and guidance. I am proud to be leading the organisation at a time when its work is more important than ever, in the face of uncertainty over relationships with Europe as well as challenging times for farming. I look forward to demonstrating the value of the rural economy and showing how managing the land is an active business involving risk and investment. Rural businesses take the long view managing and investing across generations, while remaining relevant and innovative and making a major contribution to the economy in England and Wales.”

“We will also show how rural businesses differ from the more urbanised economy. The rural economy has agriculture at its heart, as well as protecting our heritage and the environment. Whatever the environmental, social and economic challenges we face, rural businesses are key to the solution and I look forward to taking our members’ message to the heart of Government.”

Mr and Mrs Murray run Llanover estate in Monmouthshire, with enterprises including agriculture, forestry and a fishery on the River Usk. The estate includes a number of tenanted farms, and Mr and Mrs Murray farm with Black Welsh Mountain sheep. They have also developed the Llanover Business Park on the estate as well as a rural housing portfolio, a village school and a recently opened village store and coffee shop.

Mr Murray has acted as a Government-appointed member of Brecon Beacons National Park Authority, and he is a Trustee of the Wye and Usk Foundation and a strong support of the Rivers’ Trusts movement.

Tim Breitmeyer from Cambridgeshire is appointed Deputy President of the CLA, while Mark Bridgeman from Northumberland becomes CLA Vice President.

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