THE CLA BOARD of DIRECTORS

Ross Murray

Ross is a Trustee of Llanover and Coldbrook Estates in Monmouthshire. As a qualified Chartered Surveyor in private practice he also has experience managing projects for a property development business in South Wales. He also oversees management of commercial forestry portfolios in Wales and Scotland. He has been a non-executive Trustee of the Wye and Usk Foundation, an environmental charity, for over 10 years.

Ross was previously CLA Deputy President between 2013-2015, Chairman of CLA Cymru, Chaired the Legal, Parliamentary and Property Rights Committee and was appointed CLA President in November 2015.

Tim Breitmeyer

In 1996, after 18 years in the Army, Tim returned to the family farming partnership at Bartlow Estate in Cambridgeshire. The business farms primarily cereals and sugar beet, some woodland, a thriving semi commercial shoot, offices and cottage rentals and a 100kw solar array on the Grainstore. In addition the business contract farms for seven clients in the local area and has developed a Sugar Beet Harvesting and Haulage business. Tim also worked as a Farm Business consultant for Andersons for 16 years throughout East Anglia, until 2013, specialising in Sugar Beet and contract farming arrangements.

Tim was Chairman of Cambridgeshire/Bedfordshire Branch from 2007-2009. He served on Agriculture and Land Use Committee, became Chairman of this and Environment 2010-2013, before taking on the role of CLA Vice President in November 2013. He was elected as CLA Deputy President in November 2015.

Mark Bridgeman

For the last 10 years, Mark has managed the Fallodon Estate in Northumberland. It consists of an in-hand farm, let farms, woodland and biomass, cottages, a new tourism venture and housing development .

After Durham University, Mark spent 19 years at Schroders as a fund manager. He is now on the board of three London listed investment trusts and a venture capital fund in Newcastle. He is trustee of the Weston Park Foundation, two other North East charities.

Mark joined the Policy Committee five years ago as the North East’s representative, he chaired Legal Parliamentary and Property Rights Committee from 2011-2013 and chaired the Environment Committee from 2013-15. He was appointed CLA Vice President in November 2015.

Helen Woolley

Helen Woolley is the Director General of the CLA. Helen joined the CLA as Director East Midlands 11 years ago. In January 2011 she moved to London as Interim Director General before being appointed as Director of Membership and Regions in August 2011. She was promoted to Director General in Spring 2012.

Prior to joining the CLA Helen spent three years as General Manager at the MoD’s Defence Animal Centre at Melton Mowbray and prior to that she had a long career in ADAS initially as a dairy cattle consultant and latterly as the Operations Manager for the Agriculture Division covering the arable, dairy, livestock and horticulture sectors where she was responsible for the day to day management of all aspects of the business.

She has a degree in Agricultural Science from Nottingham University, completed a Nuffield Scholarship in 1998 travelling in Eastern Europe and attended the Worshipful Company of Farmers Rural Leadership Course at Seale Hayne in 2003.

Helen is a CLA Board member and a Trustee of the Nuffield Farming Scholarship Trust.

David Lodder

David is a Consulting Partner to Lodders Solicitors LLP.  He is Head of the Agricultural & Rural Department specialising in Landed Estates.  He is Under Sheriff of Warwickshire, Deputy Lieutenant of Warwickshire, Steward of the Manor of Henley in Arden and Trustee of a number of family estates.  He is on the RPA Appeals Panel and an advisor to Warwickshire Colleges and trustee of the Farming Community Network.

Previously David was Chairman of CLA Warwickshire Committee, Chairman of LPPR, BREC as well as serving on Policy committee and the CLA Council.

David also runs a 120 acre grassland farm with diversification.

Alexander Dickinson

Alexander is a partner in Bond Dickinson LLP. He is the owner of the Styford Estate in Northumberland, which has a mixed farming operation together with cottages, woodlands, fishing on the River Tyne and a small family shoot. He also runs his family's property investment company.

Alexander specialises in advising landed estates, holds many trusteeships and sits on the board of several family offices. In addition, he is a trustee of a number of grant making charities, was until recently a governor of Aysgarth School in Yorkshire, is Under Sheriff of Northumberland and a patron of Child Bereavement UK.

Andrew Grant

Andrew farms nearly 600 acres with a mixed farming business consisting of cereals, suckling cows and sheep. 

He is a Chartered Surveyor, Estate Agent FRICS and owns the largest independent Estate Agency business in the West Midlands with 15 offices in Herefordshire, Shropshire, Warwickshire, West Midlands and Worcestershire.  The business is run with a management team and chief executive.  The Agency is constantly upgrading its marketing techniques including press releases, improving technology and contact with social media.  

Andrew is involved in many charities and Trusts which include being a former Governor, and currently a Patron, of St Richards Hospice, Chairman of a Fundraising Committee for a new hospice and is Ambassador for the Elizabeth Fitzroy Charity which looks after some 600 residents with serious learning difficulties.

Andrew has been involved with the CLA since 1996 when he became a member of Worcester Branch becoming Chairman in 1999 and President in 2002.  He became Chairman of West Midlands Regional Committee in 2004-2007 and was on Policy Committee 2010-2013. 

William Fox

William owns a 1000 acre arable farm in West Norfolk which has a rotation of wheat, barley OSR and sugar beet. It also includes a small family shoot. After leaving the army in 1983 he studied at RAC, Cirencester studying farming and farm management then pursued a career in investment management, joining Cazenove & Co as a trainee in 1986 where he remains. Despite working in investment management he describes his occupation as a farmer although this is restricted to weekends rather than the day to day management.

William has a current FCA registration and manages, inter alia, private client and Trust portfolios. He brings to the Board 30 years of investment management experience believing that the Investment Policy Document must be clear about the aims of the CLA and would monitor and engage with fund managers to help meet the required objectives.

Michael Fetherston-Dilke

Michael trained as a chartered accountant with Peat Marwick Mitchell (now KPMG) and spent the latter part of his business career as a non-executive chairman or director of a range of private equity-backed businesses, mostly in service-related industries. For several years before its sale he was Chairman of Spaldings, the nationwide distributor of agricultural spares. Earlier he spent 12 years at a senior level with BET, a large UK multinational service group, before developing his private equity interests with 3i and other private equity houses.

He is a Governor of the Lady Katherine Leveson Charity which provides sheltered housing and residential care accommodation in a Christian community outside Solihull and is Chairman of the Heart of England region of the Historic Houses Association. He lives on a Midlands let agricultural estate. He has served on the Warwickshire branch of the CLA since 1974.

John Homfray

John became a teacher for the Inner London Education Authority in 1975 and after studying for an MBA in 1978 changed career to work for AB Electronics Products Group plc. He formed his own electronics company in 1985 and after 10 years moved over to the distribution and installation of security systems.

Following his father’s retirement in 2002 he took over the family estate in Glamorgan which at that time had 1100 cattle and 1400 sheep. This has developed into mixed arable, cattle and sheep enterprises along with extensive waste and property interests. Cowbridge Compost Ltd processes some 28,000 tons of biodegradable waste p/a and the estate is a classic modern CLA member’s diversified operation.

John has had extensive involvement with the CLA for many years serving on Environment Committee, Business & Rural Economy Committee, Policy Committee as well as being Chairman of the County Branch 2002-2004 and Member of the CLA Welsh Committee 2004-2009 subsequently becoming Chairman in 2010-2012. He is a Fellow of the Royal Agricultural Societies and Trustee of the CLA Charitable Trust.

Rupert Ashby

Rupert Ashby is the CLA Director of Membership and Regions and an Executive member of the Board. He is responsible for the membership income of the Association and the Regional Teams.

With a BSc in Agriculture and an MSc in Technology of Crop Protection, he farmed for 10 years, eight years of which was with the Co-op farms where he managed a number of large complex businesses for them across the Country. He joined the CLA in 2003 and was Director South East until 2012 when he moved to Belgrave Square to take up his current position.

He is a Governor at Nettlebed Community School in Oxfordshire.