Dorothy Fairburn, the director of the Country Land and Business Association’s northern region, has announced she is to retire from the post this spring, and the association has begun the process of finding a successor.
Dorothy first joined the CLA staff more than 20 years ago, initially involving herself with farming and landowning matters across Yorkshire before also taking in Lancashire, Cumbria and the North East.
A farmer’s daughter from the North York Moors, she gained a degree in agriculture at Wye College before qualifying as a rural practice chartered surveyor while working for Savills plc in London and York.
Prior to joining the CLA, she worked for the National Trust in Yorkshire, where she managed some 30,000 acres of countryside as well as being responsible for historic houses open to the public and the acquisition of new properties.
As CLA regional director Dorothy is responsible for the provision of advice to, and lobbying on behalf of, some 6,000 members who manage more than 50 per cent of the rural land in the northern area. She was awarded an MBE in 2011 in recognition of her services to rural affairs.
She said: “I will certainly miss so many valued colleagues and members, but will not be leaving until late spring this year and will certainly not be slowing down.
“The CLA has been resilient in continuing to support our members, and in order to achieve this in future we have now embarked on a recruitment drive to ensure a smooth transition.”
CLA director of membership Rupert Ashby said: “Throughout her time at the CLA, Dorothy has demonstrated an utmost commitment to work on behalf of members to promote the rural economy at large, and is well respected and valued across the rural community.
“We are already in the process of finding someone of Dorothy’s calibre to lead the CLA’s team in the North, and thank her for her commitment till the very end.”