Chester-based chartered surveyor Ross Houlden has been elected Chairman of the Cheshire Branch of the CLA, which represents landowners, farmers and rural businesses.
Having worked for land agents Strutt and Parker for 20 years, Mr Houlden is now a Senior Director helping with the running of the rural business and the firm’s rural knowledge share and research. He says he has been lucky enough to work with a number of great Cheshire estates and in support of some wonderful rural communities.
An active CLA Cheshire Committee member for over a decade, Ross came to the area after graduating from the Royal Agricultural College, after growing up in Devon “working on farms, fishing and ferreting”.
Speaking about his appointment. Ross said: “The rural economy is about people and how the countryside can meet the needs - both now and in the future - of the people who live and work here as well as wider society.
“I believe at the heart of all this is sustainable economic activity and, in the midst of a shifting political and social landscape, the rural economy needs to adapt accordingly.
“My challenge as chairman is to articulate the contribution that the countryside does make. We need to reassure society that private landowners, as the custodians of the countryside, have proven to evolve and meet the needs of wider society and will continue to do so. Any erosion of property rights is unlikely to be in anyone’s long term interest.
Ross is married to Kirsty, a GP and the couple have two children. In his spare time, his hobbies include Mountain Sports, biking, skiing, walking and running.
Details of your local branch committee in the CLA Midlands region can be found here.