Gail Sprake, Chairman

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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.

Professor Tim Morris (Co-Opt) Vice Chair

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Professor Tim Morris has extensive experience across veterinary medicine, commerce, professional and voluntary activities, 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.

Alison Pope (Co-Opt), Treasurer

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Alison is from a farming family on the West Lancashire coast – dairy farmers with a horse drawn milk-round in the 1930s and 40s as well as farming pigs, hens and turkeys. She grew up with early morning starts in the 1970s to feed beef cattle and worked the usual crop cycles growing arable produce.

Alison left West Lancashire to study Economics and Accountancy at Leeds University, and then qualified as a Chartered Management Accountant in the City of London.  She is also a member of the ICSA and the RSA, a Trustee of the Alder Hey Hospital Family House Trust and is Treasurer of her local Royal British Legion Branch.

Alison’s passion for horticulture, the outdoors and farming was further expanded when she was appointed a Trustee of Southport Flower Show. It was at the Show that Alison first encountered the Rare Breeds Survival Trust. She was honoured to be asked to join the RBST Board in 2019. 

  

Tom Davis

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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.  Tom is currently Farm Manager at Mudchute Park and Farm.  

John Atkinson

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John Atkinson has spent 40 years as a commercial farmer, with 25 years’ experience of working for the National Trust in department and project management roles. He currently sits on the Board of the Whitebred Shorthorn Association and The Federation of Cumbrian Commoners and was co-opted onto the Board of Trustees of the Dry Stone Walling Association for ten years. With his partner Maria Benjamin, John farms 450 acres in the Lake District, running rare and native breeds of cattle and sheep. The farm has searched out different markets for its produce and developed new products and income streams to add value.

Ryan Perry

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Professionally, Ryan Perry works in the NHS as a biomedical scientist specialising in microbiology and has an interest in livestock genetics. He has kept rare breeds for around 20 years, an interest he first developed when volunteering for RBST city farm, Bill Quay Community Farm in Gateshead, Tyne and Wear. He has served as a trustee for various charities, including Bill Quay. By developing strategic plans and grant funding, he helped develop the business and turn the organisation from significant deficit to break-even with new income streams. He is Chairman of the Tamworth Breeders’ Club and breed representative for the British Pig Association, where he has served for three years as a Trustee. Ryan farms Tamworth pigs, Bagot goats and Castlemilk Moorit sheep and has recently added Shetland cattle.

Catherine Lascelles

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James Fanshawe

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Claire Saunders (Co-Opt)