Gail Sprake, Chairman

In her 30+ 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, together with various poultry breeds. 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 the Chair of the Caledonian Support Group. He has a small farm in Angus with Large Black and Oxford Sandy & Black Pigs, British White Cattle, Portland Sheep and Golden Guernsey Goats. Part of the BPA’s Pedigree Pork scheme, Pork products are sold at markets and online. Having worked in a number of industries, he brings many years experience in sales and 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 and Manx Loaghtan sheep and a small flock of Scots Greys. Richard chairs the RBST Conservation Committee and is on the government's FAnGR committee. 

Sandra Mansell

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 Layt

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.

Tom Davis

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.

Tullis Matson

Jackie Biard

Julian Hosking

Julian lives in Somerset and his professional life brought him into close contact with RBST over the last 20 years.  Having retired from English Nature/Natural England in 2016, he is keen to promote the multiplicity of products and roles that native breeds can provide as well as ensuring that they are fully recognised as an intrinsic part of our national agricultural biodiversity. Through the creation of the “Native breeds at risk grazing supplement”, he has also advocated the essential part that many such breeds can play in the maintenance and enhancement of much of the wild biodiversity in our natural environment. He has been a member of the UK Farm Animal Genetic Resources Committee since 2008.”

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