Gail Sprake, Chairman
In her 25 years as an RBST member, Gail has been an active member of the East Anglia support group, standing as group Chairman for a number of years. On her farm on the Norfolk/Suffolk border she keeps Southdown and Devon Closewool sheep and Irish Moiled and Northern Dairy Shorthorn cattle. She is also the secretary of the Southdown Sheep Society.
Prof. Tim Morris, Vice Chair
Professor Tim Morris has extensive experience across veterinary medicine, commerce, professional and voluntary activities, communications, media and public affairs, coupled with a longstanding interest and involvement with native breeds of livestock, and keeps Southdown sheep. He is a non-executive on Defra’s Animal Health and Welfare Board for England and has been a Trustee/Chair of several charities and a Director of several companies.
Martin Beard, Treasurer
Martin lives in Scotland and is very involved in the Caledonian Support Group. He has a smallholding in Angus with a number of rare and native breeds. He brings many years experience in marketing to the board.
Dr Richard Small, Chair of Conservation Committee
Richard was programme leader at Liverpool John Moores University for both the Wildlife Conservation and Environmental Sciences degrees. He is particularly interested in using rare and native breeds for conservation grazing and keeps Hebridean sheep and a small flock of Scots Greys. Richard chairs the RBST Conservation Committee and is on the government's FAnGR committee.
Chris was born on the family farm and spent 25 years milking the family's Holstein herd. He has been involved in the Irish Moiled Cattle Society for over 15 years and is a very experienced showman.
Sandra has worked with a number of rare and native breeds, keeping Wensleydale sheep and Highland and Exmoor ponies in the past. She is very involved in projects to support and maintain native breeds of ponies and represents RBST on the National Equine Welfare Council.
Dameon has been a member of RBST for over 10 years and soon joined the RBST East Anglia committee of which he is in his second term as vice-chair. Living in Norfolk, Dameon keeps Norfolk Horns and Herdwick sheep and is very keen and on keeping some Whitebred Shorthorns someday. Dameon says ‘I have a huge passion for the heritage breeds and how they work alongside modern farming systems, becoming a board member gives me the opportunity to take part in RBST’s decision making and to help promote the benefits of farming with native and rare breeds.
Living in London and having no family links did not deter Tom from pursuing a career in Land based Management and becoming a great advocate of rare and native breeds. Tom started volunteering at his local city farm at the age of 8 and his passion for rare and native has grown ever since. Currently teaching animal management at Capel Manor College’s Crystal Palace Centre he has also been Farm Manager at Mudchute Park and Farm and at Vauxhall City Farm.
Sue Blacker, Chair of Finance & Governance Committee
Sue currently lives in Cornwall where she runs The Natural Fibre Company, a spinning mill specialising in making British rare and regional breed sheep yarns. She also looks after her flock of Gotland and black Blue-faced Leicester sheep, specialising in wool production. Sue has worked for charities and also in the City, and brings a wealth of financial expertise to the board and is very much looking forward to working with the rest of the board members.