PRESS RELEASE: New leader for Essex land and business owners
David Nutting whose family has farmed and managed land in Essex for four generations is the new chairman of the county branch of the Country Land and Business Association, (CLA).
Managing 18,000 acres of farmland in Essex and Suffolk and running industrial units and office and housing developments he will be bringing specialist expertise to both strands of the role.
Great Grandfather Edward Strutt began the family business in the 1890s founding with his partner Charles Parker both the estate agency and Strutt and Parker Farms Ltd of which Mr Nutting is the present chairman. Much of the land lies along the Essex coast and so he welcomes the recent formation of the new pilot project Managing Coastal Change, in which the CLA is a partner.
"The aim, in the light of climate change and sea level rise is to examine and assess all the possible options for an economic future on the coast," he explains. "Essex has been chosen because we have the longest coastline of any English county and when the project is completed its findings will be used in other maritime areas throughout the country.
"Such an assessment has been needed for a very long time and we hope that it will give us the knowledge we need to make business decisions in the years to come."
With climate change and carbon accounting high on the CLA agenda, Mr Nutting has also welcomed the substantial funding which just been granted to the association by the East of England Development Agency to fund a 'calculator' to enable land managers to assess the green house gas emissions of their businesses. From the results they will be able to decide what action they need to take to reduce emissions and to adapt their businesses to take advantage of future opportunities for carbon offsetting and trading.
"Almost £50,000 has been granted to us," he explains. "Named CALM (Carbon Accounting for Land Managers) building the calculator will be undertaken, in conjunction with CLA staff, by Savills' Research Department, representing £20,000 of match funding. Designed to be easy to use, it will be carried on the CLA website and will be free and accessible to all."
He explains that land management is one of the few industries which is able to make a positive contribution to reducing the impacts of climate change by:
"We can foresee that in future suppliers will need to be able to provide hard facts and figures on greenhouse gas emissions and how they are dealing with them. This calculator will put them ahead of the game."
Affordable housing is another concern, especially in a county like Essex, close to the Capital and where property is costly. The company has 110 houses, some housing current and retired employees, the rest let. It has also leased land to the Rural Housing Trust which will be providing 10 affordable homes at Leaden Roding.
"Outside the public sector CLA members are one of the foremost providers of homes at affordable rents. They are willing to make land available to build more, but they need better incentives."
As might be expected, Mr Nutting is much concerned with flood defence and sits on the Anglia Eastern regional flood defence committee.
Away from work his primary interests are "the usual country sports, shooting and fishing and horse-racing - over the sticks and point to point." A keen amateur jockey he raced until he was 40 "and somehow managed never to break a bone."
He lives at Terling and he and his wife Tessa have three daughters Belinda, Serena and Alexandra and a granddaughter Amelie.
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