Northumberland farmer elected to national role campaigning for the industry

A Northumberland farmer has been elected president of a national lobbying organisation.

Thursday, 19th December 2019, 11:45 am
Mark Bridgeman, President of the CLA (Country Land and Business Association).

Mark Bridgeman is the 54th president of the CLA (Country Land and Business Association), the membership organisation representing 30,000 landowners, farmers and rural businesses in England and Wales.

He is the most northerly based president ever elected, and only the second member from the county to fill this position in nearly 100 years, following the Duke of Northumberland in 1920-1921.

Mark, who manages the Fallodon Estate, near Christon Bank, said: “I am delighted to be appointed to this role at a time of great change within the agricultural and rural sectors. There are many challenges ahead, and I relish the prospect of representing members within the region and nationally.

Mark Bridgeman manages Fallodon Estate, near Christon Bank, Alnwick.

“Lobbying on behalf of our members, who are responsible for managing more than 10million acres of land, I will continue to seek greater clarity from a future government in relation to policies that can support farmers and landowners in a practical manner.

“Of course, this will be in tandem with our ongoing lobbying efforts on key rural issues such as broadband, rural housing, planning, farming payments and a future farming and food policy.”

Launching the CLA’s Rural Powerhouse initiative, Mark said: “At a time when political tensions are high, we are standing up proudly to say that we believe in the potential of the rural economy, and we are here to champion it.

“It is an opportunity to champion a brighter future for farming, for our environment and wider land use and for investment in rural communities. I look forward to leading the CLA as we play our role in shaping policy at this crucial time of continuous political change.”

For the last 14 years, Mark has managed the Fallodon Estate which consists of an in-hand farm, let farms, woodland and biomass, tourism, let properties and housing development.

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