1 The Queen
Our monarch bears the greatest influence on country life in Britain because it is she who gives us our countryside ‘DNA’ or rural identity on the world stage. Through The Queen, we are the nation most renowned for understanding animals and sustaining the countryside, thanks to her practical and beautifully preserved examples at Balmoral, Sandringham and Windsor. The Queen’s interests, and therefore her public persona, not only revolve entirely around the countryside dogs, shooting, fishing, racing, breeding horses but it does so in the most knowledgeable and practical way.
2 Chief executive, Natural England (NE)
Has a vast brief that ranges from the crucial (drafting the Marine Bill, achieving bio-diversity targets) to the time-wasting (a recent NE survey said that people who live near parks take more exercise). The well-organised Dr Phillips bears with dignity the inevitable and necessary scrutiny of a Government agency that uses millions of pounds of public money to deal with farmers, businesses, planners, developers and the designation of national parks, SSSIs and AONBs. It doesn’t get much bigger than this in the countryside until, perhaps, the great quango cull.
3 Graham Wynne Chief executive, RSPB
Heads Europe’s largest voluntary wildlife conservation body with more than a million members, so his advice is sought on everything from food security to wind energy —the RSPB is even poking into grouse-moor management now. The present Government listens keenly to his advice, which this year includes the suggestion that shoots could be licensed.
4 Ed Miliband, Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change
As head of this newly created department, the rising political star has promised to meet ‘more than 30%’ of Britain’s Green energy targets with wind and other renewable energy sources by 2020, so he’ll be responsible for how our landscape looks if his Government survives.
5 Hilary Benn, Secretary of State for Defra
He might be vegetarian, but he’s hailed as the best Defra Minister yet and has impressed with a more practical line this year: ‘I want British agriculture to produce as much food as possible, no ifs, no buts.’ He also startled farmers by conceding: ‘There is no evidence to suggest that eating GM foods is harmful.’ Battles assiduously against restrictive EU rules such as sheep-tagging, but is still a lone voice (against Wales, Scotland and Ireland) on that vexing badger cull.
6 Peter Kendall, NFU president
Farming’s back in vogue, thanks to the food-security panic (see Hilary Benn), and Mr Kendall’s measured, authoritative tones command respect. As emphasis shifts from what the NFU has described as Defra’s ‘preaching of the environmental agenda with evangelical zeal’ to food production, farming holds the whip hand again as ‘the only industry that can balance productive agriculture and the environment’.
7 Prince Charles, Architectural and farming conscience
Not everyone agrees with his pronouncements, especially about GM crops and architecture he resigned this year as presi-dent of the Society for the Protection of Ancient Buildings after a disagreement over a foreword to a book but they have to listen, and we should be impressed by how assiduously he and his aides monitor planning and agriculture in the countryside. We’ve seen tangible evidence of what he can achieve when he doesn’t approve of an urban development, and it now seems that his influence over rural plans goes further than thought.
8 Simon Jenkins Chairman, National Trust
A compelling, fluent debater, the former Times editor now chairs the world’s largest conservation organisation, with more than 3½ million members. He’s probably more into building preservation than some of the Trust’s lifestyle-orientated projects, but has access to a prominent platform to air his pressing and important view that the beauty of our landscape has never been more threatened.
9 Sir Terry Leahy, Tesco chief
It’s within his grasp to ease the financial pressure on British farming through supporting local produce, but aggressive promotions, together with those of his competitors, mean farmers are feeling the pinch. However, Tesco’s market share dipped last month although only by 0.2% as Waitrose’s rose by the same amount (see Mark Price, 73).
10 Ruth Bond, Chairman of the WI
Elected this year, this superwoman’s particular bag is Green issues and the eradication of hazardous chemicals. Prince Charles and Tony Blair know the WI isn’t to be messed with; it has 205,000 members 5,000 go to the AGM and it regularly campaigns effectively on countryside issues such as bees and climate change.
11 Charles Clover, Journalist
His departure from The Daily Telegraph is investigative environmental journalism’s loss. However, The End of the Line, his powerful book highlighting the desperate plight of the world’s fish stocks, has been made into a documentary which, thanks to Greta Scacchi’s naked pose with a cod and Sarah Brown’s Twittering, means he’s unexpectedly shot to greater stardom.
12 Simon Thurley, Chief executive, English Heritage
Guardian of more than 400 historic properties and even parts of the sea, he’s got the power to list any building and to shame the negligent as well as the ear of Government, and a higher profile through recent television coverage and improvements to heritage legislation. Goes into apoplexy at the sight of wheelie bins in conservation areas.
13 Paul Leinster, Chief executive, Environment Agency
He manages the organisation that is responsible for a recent and unwelcome phenomenon widespread flooding (more than 2.5 million homes are at risk) as well as four million fishing licences, fining polluters and cleaning up our waterways and rivers.
14 Malcolm Shepherd, Bicycle advocate
As chief executive of the sustainable-transport charity Sustrans, Mr Shepherd’s mission is to get more of us out of our cars and on our bikes. For the first time in its history, the National Cycle Network is carrying more than one million journeys every day.
15 Giles Coode-Adams, Gardening chief
The new RHS president, Giles Coode-Adams is described by the cognoscenti as ‘the real thing, horticulturally speaking’, a tremendous power-broker with behind-the-scenes financial acumen. He’s also a tree man, and trees are the new focus, because they’re a treasured part of our landscape.
16 Julian Little Chairman, Agricultural Biotechnology Council
Logical speaker who heads the organisation that promotes GM crops and therefore influences what we eat in this country. His aims are to encourage discussion on and information about the impact of bio-technology on food, and seems to be making headway with a certain level of public acceptance.
17 Julia Bradbury
Bringing walking to the screen She’s everywhere on television, joyfully extolling the benefits of striding out in the fresh air, and is now even more omnipresent with the rescheduling of Countryfile to the prime-time spot of 7pm on Sunday.
18 Stuart Burgess Rural advocateand chairman of the Commission for Rural Communities Made a CBE this year, the former president of the Methodist Church has to persuade Government to care about rural transport, crime, housing and businesses. His job this year has been to relay back to über-Lord Mandelson how the countryside is doing in the recession.
19 John Beddington, Government Chief Scientific Adviser
Has a way to go before equalling predecessor David King’s headline count, but in March, he predicted a ‘perfect storm’ for 2030 when highlighting the need for Northern Europe to produce more food and use more advanced pesticides to counteract a global exploding population and food and energy-source shortages, which will lead to war, unrest and migration.
20 Fiona Reynolds, Director General, National Trust
The Trust’s remit has exploded beyond its 600 miles of coastline and 300 beautifully maintained houses to spreading the Green living message. She is spearheading the its commitment to reducing its carbon footprint and is often heard cajoling the nation about the joys of allotments and walking.
21 Paul Allen, Development director, Centre for Alternative Technology (CAT)
Practises what he preaches and lives ‘off the grid’. CAT started 36 years ago when idealists colonised a derelict Welsh slate quarry; now, it’s got a turnover of £3.5 million and leads the way in advising on Green energy, from solar lightbulbs to the big stuff.
22 Kate Humble, Wildlife celebrity
Arguably the more watchable half of Spring-watch (with Bill Oddie), she’s not only popularised BBC wildlife and science programmes, but looks likely to gain an important new platform as only the second woman president of the RSPB in 120 years.
23 Prof David Mabberley, Keeper of the Herbarium
Considered the most encyclopaedically knowledgeable botanist since Victorian times, he presides over Kew’s seven million-plus specimens, an internationally important reference point for the plant world, and is the author of The Plant-Book, a generic overview of the world’s flora.
24 Bear Grylls, Chief Scout
When appointed youngest-ever cub leader this year, he said: ‘I have always loved helping young people to live their dreams and to taste real adventure as well as getting caked in mud.’ Let’s hope he inspires Britain’s increasingly pallid children to forgo consoles for camping.
25 Tim Lovett Chairman, British Beekeepers’ Association
Bees have been barely out of the news this year, and we should have grasped by now their immense contribution to the economy. Beekeepers stormed Downing Street last year and won; Defra has pledged £10 million to pollinator research.
26 Sir Henry Aubrey-Fletcher, President, CLA
It’s not the largest organisation, but collect-ively its members own most of England and Wales. The CLA manages to be a constant thorn in the side of Defra and Natural Eng-land, and has had recent success in lobbying against grey squirrels and for rural broadband and coastal landowners’ rights.
27 Charles and Chipps Mann Organisers of Vote OK
Come the revolution sorry, election anti-hunting MPs in marginal seats will have cause to be frightened. The Manns, who organised the Countryside March in 2002, run an impressive canvassing operation on behalf of fieldsport-sympathetic MPs with tangible results. Remember Jackie Ballard losing Taunton and be afraid (see Simon Hart, 33).
28 Prof Mark Chase, Keeper of the Jodrell Laboratory
With Prof Mabberley (23), he has brought Britain back to the forefront of botany. He wrote the landmark paper on seed-plant phylogenetics that began the wholesale revision of the Plant Kingdom.
29 Sir Donald Curry, Agricultural strategist
He’s chairman of NFU Mutual, chairs the delivery group responsible for driving forward the Government’s Sustainable Farming and Food Strategy and this year became chairman of the Waitrose Farm.
30 Helen Browning Chairwoman, Food Ethics Council
Not only presides over the burning issue of ‘how science and technology can be made socially and ethnically robust’, but has a massive brief that includes being chairman of Defra’s Animal Health Committee, director of food and farming at the Soil Association, a major organic producer and, perhaps most importantly, an adviser to Prince Charles.
31 Kate Hoey MP of principle
The Northern Irish countrywoman and MP combines a Labour inner-city seat (Vauxhall) with a staunch pro-hunting stance as chairman of the Countryside Alliance with equanimity and bravery. Her CA appointment was a major coup for hunting (see Baroness Mallalieu, 69).
32 Zac Goldsmith, Green campaigner
The ubiquitous former Ecologist editor now brings some glamour to the Conservatives, with whom he has allied himself, and is their candidate rather than the Greens for Richmond Park. A holder of the Beacon Prize for Philanthropy, he’s only 33, but has won numerous awards and oversees the Tories’ Quality of Life Policy Group.
33 Simon Hart Chief executive, Countryside Alliance (CA)
Affable but politically astute face of fieldsports and an effective campaigner who has provided leadership after the Hunting Act, the CA will miss him if he wins the marginal seat of Carmarthen West and South Pembrokeshire in the next election.
34 Bill Bryson, CPRE President
Humorous American author who therefore achieves more airtime for worthy projects. He made much of the fact that he came from a windswept outpost in Iowa, and in his inaugural speech, he celebrated the ‘miracle’ of the British countryside, but warned that we need to redouble efforts to safeguard it.
35 Sir Ranulph Fiennes, Explorer
He put the backbone back into Britain this year when overcoming heart trouble, age (65) and vertigo to became the first man to climb Mount Everest and cross the North and South Poles unaided absolutely heroic and heartwarming.
36 Sarah Mukherjee, Environment correspondent
BBC journalist who can’t be accused of sanitising the countryside with her realistic grasp of issues. Wrote her own job description after the 1998 BSE Inquiry when she realised every local radio station had a vCJD victim or an affected farmer on their patch.
37 Graham Harvey, Agricultural story editor, The Archers
As long-time agriculture scriptwriter and then agricultural story editor of the most-listened-to Radio 4 non-news programme it holds the BBC Radio record for internet listening he’s largely responsible for educating urbanites about the trials and tribulations of farming in 2009.
38 Joss Garman Co-founder, Plane Stupid
Plane Stupid’s mission to halt short-haul flights and aviation advertising seems romantic, but, since 2005, it’s managed to occupy three airports, shut down easyJet and BAA’s headquarters, stopped private jets at three airports, sat atop the House of Commons, chucked green custard over Lord Mandelson and made an eye-catching fuss about the Heathrow extension.
39 Caroline Lucas Leader, Green Party
A lucid debater with charm, her star’s in the ascendant. MEP of the Year in Parliament magazine last year, she’s also vice-president of the RSPCA, has campaigned for safer mobile-phone masts and noise restrictions on airlines, has amended legislation against GM crops and advocated vaccination rather than a cull if foot-and-mouth reappears.
40 Dr Steve Tapper Scientist
Wise senior scientist and director of policy and public affairs at the Game & Wildlife Conservation Trust, who brings the most impassioned argument down to a sensible base. Currently, he’s asking the thought-provoking question of whether Britain’s (Defra and Natural England’s) approach to conservation is actually working.
41 Martin Palmer, Marries religion and rural
Secretary general of the Alliance of Religions & Conservation, an enlightened organisation that achieves extraordinary things by fusing good science with traditions of faith. Unsung in the UK, but hugely respected in the UN.
42 Kate Ashbrook, Walkers’ heroine
As head of the Ramblers’ Association, she sticks out like a sore thumb at gatherings of landowners and other countrymen, but, undeterred, heads a large and vociferous organisation that campaigns tirelessly for access for walkers and is a driving force behind the coastal path.
43 Tony Juniper, Environmentalist
The former director of Friends of the Earth is special advisor to The Prince of Wales’s Rainforest Project and remains one of Britain’s most effective eco-warriors. He is the Green Party’s General Election candidate for Cambridge.
44 Duke of Westminster, Leading landowner
His Grosvenor estates company owns 135,000 acres of rural land throughout Britain. The shooting-mad Gerald Grosvenor uses his wealth to maintain his superb sporting estates in Sutherland, Lancashire and Cheshire. Immaculately administered, they provide employment in economically challenged areas and set a standard for wildlife and habitat conservation that few can match.
45 John Swift, Chief Executive of BASC
A steady hand at the helm of the UK’s leading shooting body since 1988. Under his tenure, the association has grown to its current record level of 130,000. He has formed strong working relationships with the ‘opposition’, namely the RSPB and the Labour Government, a tactic many respect even if not all shooters are happy to accept.
46 Lembit Opik, Countryside champion
Often unintentionally adds gaiety to the nation for his romantic adventures, but is actually the Liberal Democrat MP with the most genuine, considered understanding for the countryside.
47 Edward Harley, Country-house champion
There are more privately owned houses open to the public than those in the care of the National Trust, English Heritage and their equivalents in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland put together, says the Historic Houses Association. Mr Harley, its president, is campaigning for tax relief for historic-house maintenance.
48 Charles Nodder, Political adviser of the National Gamekeepers Organisation
A highly intelligent and unsung lobbyist who’s known for reading the small print fellow campaigners for field sports describe him as ‘the canary in the mine’.
49 The Princess Royal, Rare-breeds champion
Her older brother tends to get all the attention, but The Princess Royal brings her own brand of good sense to rural affairs. Her organic farm breeds White Park cattle, which are now off the endangered list, Gloucester Old Spot pigs, Scots Dumpy hens and Wiltshire Horn sheep and she strives to maintain traditional values in the British sport of eventing.
50 Ptolomy Dean, Conservation architect
Campaigning architect and writer for historic preservation, who has appeared on the BBC’s Restoration and The Perfect Village, as well as designing new buildings that are in keeping with their old settings. An articulate voice, who uses his watercolour sketches as a tool in presenting his vision of the built environment.
51 The Ferry family, Musicians of stage and field
Bryan’s staunch support of brooding MFH son Otis during his stint at Her Majesty’s pleasure (following a fracas with the antis) added a little stardust to countryside campaigns. Otis is a genuinely passionate hound man and deserves some credit for not spending Daddy’s money in Bougis and for giving humble interviews on his release.
52 Peter Florence, Literary driving force
The founder and director of the Hay Festival has shown that rural Wales can be as intellectually powerful as London or Manhattan, and that there’s no greater leveller for presi-dents and poets than a wet Welsh valley.
53 Lady Bamford, Organic food doyenne
‘Organic’ and ‘Daylesford’ are as strong a word association as ever, and it’s mostly thanks to the exquisite taste of founder Carole Bamford, the energetic businesswoman who had the dubious honour of being ranked fourth in Tatler’s most power-ful blondes list last year.
54 Huw Irranca-Davies, Wildlife minister
The Welsh MP has had a meteoric rise, taking on the new post within Defra of wildlife minister. He’s got a wide brief, covering farming, marine, waterways, coastal erosion, forestry, and so on, and doesn’t seem to mind when his rural audience doesn’t always agree with him.
55 Graham Dalton, Road planner
As Chief Executive of the Highways Agency (an executive agency of the Department of Transport), he’s responsible for England’s strategic road network. One of the agency’s most significant projects is the A3 Hindhead tunnel, which will create the UK’s longest road tunnel under land.
56 George Monbiot, Environment activist
Best-selling author of Heat: how to stop the planet burning and unstoppable campaigner who has been beaten up, stung by hornets and shipwrecked and has an excellent sense of irony—his website motto reads: ‘Tell people something they know already and they will thank you. Tell them something new and they will hate you.’
57 Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall Real food champion
Articulate chef, campaigner for ‘real food’ and ethical farming and best known for eating roadkill and hedgerow produce, earning the nickname ‘Fearlessly-Eatsitall’. As related on Desert Island Discs, he flambéed a human placenta and served it as pâté to friends.
58 Teresa Dent, Conservation head
Brings practical business sense to her role as the first female chief executive of the Game & Wildlife Conservation Trust. She’s not a scientist her background is land management but she knows what’s important and how to make the trust’s research findings palatable to a wider audience.
59 Sebastian Coe, Olympics deliverer
The London Olympics in 2012 will thrust the nation into the global limelight. Lord Coe is the man with overall responsibility for making it all happen. The results of the former Olympic gold medallist’s efforts will reverberate for a generation.
60 Sue Clifford and Angela King Rural campaigners
Local, good-sense heroes Sue Clifford and Angela King founded the charity Common Ground in 1983 to promote local distinctiveness. The nationwide Apple Day is their flagship project.
61 Patrick Holden, Organic guru
Academic advocate for healthy living and director of the Soil Association, he’s an important force for local food. His voice has never been more important, as the food-security panic threatens to engulf the organic movement.
62 Peter Watson, Deer expert
Runs the Deer Initiative, which does crucial work in managing a new and perplexing phenomenon, the deer-population explosion. He has to tread a fine line between a sensitive and a practical approach to an emotive subject.
63 Ian Bell, Farmers’ saviour
Created an MBE this year for services to farming, he’s the energy behind the Addington Fund, a thoroughly worthwhile organisation that provides housing, financial help and counselling to farmers who have lost their homes and to the families left behind after a farmer’s death.
64 Duke of Buccleuch, Model landowner
Has taken on where his late father left off, most notably through the Langholm Moor project, the only grouse moor the RSPB approves of, plus important renewables initiatives.
65 Dr Paul Smith, Head of Millennium Seed Bank
Runs the project at Kew that could literally save the world some 60,000 to 100,000 plant species that underpin the ecosystem in which we all live are under threat. The seed bank aims to store seeds from 25% of the world’s plant species by 2020, providing a crucial source of material for research.
66 Dylan Williams, Shooting guru
Has a talent for taking shooting to a wider audience through his Royal Berkshire Shooting School and has the knack for making it fun and glamorous for newcomers.
67 Andrew Strauss, England cricket captain
By captaining England to Ashes victory, he has given a major fillip to the game that’s played on village cricket greens, school playing fields and country-house pitches all over the country. The old Radleian and Durham University graduate has lead by example in his play, and maintained high sporting traditions as well as a real desire to win. Nationwide, schoolchildren will now be inspired to take up this iconic sport.
68 Gary Richardson, Links schools with farms
As chief executive of the charitable Countryside Foundation for Education, he provides the link to a national infrastructure that unites urban schools with farms.
69 Baroness Mallalieu, Legal advisor
The husky-voiced lawyer, peeress and articulate and amusing speaker who manages to sit on the left-hand side of the House of Lords and be president of the Countryside Alliance (see Kate Hoey, 31).
70 Caroline Cranbrook, Tireless rural campaigner
Most famously fought and won a battle to keep Tesco at bay from her local town. The Countess of Cranbrook, who was important enough to be a Desert Island Discs guest this year, is a force of nature not to be under-estimated by Government and big business.
71 Dowager Duchess of Devonshire, National treasure
Although she now lives in a dowager house in Edensor village, the much-loved youngest Mitford sister is still considered the authority on all things to do with farm shops and chickens. The way she turned around Chatsworth’s fortunes is still a blueprint for historic-home owners.
72 Eric Clapton, Rock king
Leading member of the
rock aristocracy with Kenney Jones, Charlie Watts, Mike Rutherford and Bryan Ferry that makes the countryside cool, he’s also co-owner of country gents’ outfitters Cordings in Piccadilly, a keen fisherman and performs in aid of the Countryside Alliance.
73 Mark Price, Supermarket farmer
The grocer’s son has been MD of Waitrose since 2007, and has made it his business to support British farmers and local food initiatives. The Waitrose farm (it’s the only supermarket to have one) falls under his aegis and, as he told Country Life recently: ‘We are farmers and we understand their plight.’
74 Mark Hix, Game chef
Chef, Country Life columnist and, above all, farmers’ friend for his championing of meat, game and seasonal, local food, all served in the most sensible and appetising way.
75 Jim Barrington, Middle Way Group
The former executive dir-ector of the League Against Cruel Sports is now one of hunting’s greatest allies he’s approachable, rational and trying to achieve the impossible: middle ground bet-ween pro- and anti-factions.
76 Mark Lloyd, Voice of angling
As head of the new Angling Trust, which is supposed to have a larger membership than the Labour Party, his brief is to speak for all fishermen on issues that affect their sport, their waterways and their fish. Considered a ‘good egg’ by other lobbyists, he’s succeeding in part, but needs far greater support to make real headway.
77 Michael Eavis, Glastonbury founder
The former dairy farmer’s famous Glastonbury Festival not only feeds the local economy for many months, but draws hundreds of tourists to rural Somerset and takings support local charities.
78 Sir David Attenborough, Television icon
It’ll be a bad day when natural-history documentaries cease to be narrated in his familiar tones. For 50 years, he’s been making us aware of important issues in the natural world, most recently the threat from insect decline, all in the most entrancing fashion.
79 Michael Morpurgo, Author
He is probably best known as the former Children’s Laureate and author of War Horse, but is also founder and champion of Farms for City Children with his wife, Clare. The organisation gives young children from inner cities the chance to experience life on farms in the heart of the countryside.
In the past 30 years, more than 50,000 children have taken part in the scheme. The portfolio of farms in Devon, Wales and Gloucestershire is rumoured to be expanding in the near future.
80 David Cameron, Rural-reared Opposition leader
Has impeccable rural credentials and has made a good impression on the countryside so far by turning up to game fairs and agriculture shows, and pledging a free vote on hunting. However, he’s still got it all to do to turn his excellent PR into tangible effect.
81 Mick Rooney, Artist
The Royal Academician’s hanging of contemporary pictures by establishment and non-establishment artists at the Academy’s Summer Exhibition this year was so good that they sold dramatically well.
82 Jane Howarth, Battery hen protector
Runs the Battery Hen Welfare Trust, which educates the public about the egg industry in a remarkably sensible and non-hysterical way, ‘seeking to build only positive, constructive relationships with the egg industry’ and numbers Jamie Oliver, the Duchess of Richmond and Amanda Holden among her patrons.
83 Christopher Bradley-Hole, Modernist garden designer
Has single-handedly elevated garden design in the UK to the same status as big-name Modern architecture. The fact that he is now working on wide-scale rural landscapes is particularly exciting and makes him extra relevant to country life.
84 Jonathan Young, Journalist
Editor of The Field and a major influence on shooting ethics, his first coup was persuading James Barrington, formerly of the League Against Cruel Sports, to confess in print his growing conviction that hunting had merits. Now, he has the RSPB’s charitable status in his sights. NB We incorrectly stated in the published version of this article (Country Life, Sep 2) that it was Richard Course and not James Barrington.
85 Viscount Astor Vice-chairman, Repeal Committee
As David Cameron’s stepfather-in-law and an opposition spokesman in the House of Lords, the hunting world expects where repeal of the Hunting Act is concerned, but it’s questionable whether the close connection will be a help or an awkwardness.
86 Iain Coucher, Railway chief
As CEO of Network Rail, Mr Coucher has been responsible for Britain’s rail infrastructure since 2002, when the Government gave the company a mandate. Since then, the company has renewed 1,000 miles of rail track, but millions of commuters from rural areas rely on him to deliver a reliable and efficient railway.
87 Paul Lister, Wildlife philanthropist
As owner of the ground-breaking Alladale estate in Sutherland, he supports scientific research and aims to increase biodiversity. Some of this is controversial reintroducing beavers, elk, wild boar and, perhaps, wolves but much is admirable, concerned with grouse, red squirrels and eagles.
88 Roly Puzey, Open Farm Sunday creator
Despite its recent entry into the country calendar, 140,000 people enjoyed visiting 425 farms during this year’s Open Farm Sunday, organised by LEAF (Linking Environment and Farming). Mr Puzey is credited with championing this initiative, getting more people to ‘really get in touch with the land that feeds us’.
89 Earl of March, Entrepreneurial landowner
The Earl of March is the very model of a modern landed aristocrat and the man to watch for others in his position. He has overseen the development of the Goodwood estate into a major sporting venue without compromising its beauty. Racing, big car events and an eco-friendly Rolls-Royce
factory are all indicators of his entrepreneurial spirit. There are now plans for a music and fashion event: Vintage Goodwood.
90 Wasfi Kani, Country-house opera pioneer
There are a few pretenders to the Glynd-bourne throne, but perhaps none as spectacular as the annual Grange Park festival on Lord Ashburton’s Hampshire estate. Miss Kani recently raised £3 million to further improve the theatre, which seats up to 530 people and is the last word in stylish country opera.
91 David Clark, Head keeper, Sandringham
Royal shooting often hits the headlines in the wrong way, but Sandringham is lucky to have Dave Clark, who presides in a kindly way over unsung but important work on an estate that’s totally geared to wild-bird conservation.
92 Paul Nicholls, Champion trainer
Has reinvigorated National Hunt racing by his bold, soul-stirring training feats with equine stars as Gold Cup winners Denman and Kauto Star, and makes it so much more enjoyable for the armchair punter by being so approachable and openly emotional.
93 Frazer Thompson, Champion of English wine
The MD of the award-winning Kent-based Chapel Down Wine company, he’s also chief of the burgeoning English Wines Group. His gastro pub, The Swan at Lamberhurst, sells only English wine.
94 Nick Herbert, Shadow secretary of state for Defra
The former beagler and British Field Sports Society lobbyist is expected to play his part on behalf of farming and field sports. Has criticised the Government’s ‘lack of respect’ for the countryside and intends to empower local communities on issues of housing, policing, schools and post offices.
95 Lord Carter of Barnes, Digital advisor
The author of the controversial Digital Britain report, which proposes that tax-payers should pay towards the upkeep of the country’s broadband network, still sorely inadequate in some rural areas, left Government as soon as the report was published. We’ll probably have to pay for his ideas.
96 Marcus Binney, Architectural campaigner
President of SAVE Britain’s Heritage since 1984, he is one of the outstanding figures in architectural conservation in Britain. In recent years, he has played an import-ant role in such projects as the rescue of Dumfries House and along with SAVE the rejection of a grossly insensitive development scheme planned for Lancaster earlier this year.
97 Griff Rhys Jones, Comedian/historian
Now better known to countrymen for recently sticking his oar into the debate over access to rivers for canoeists through his Rivers series. Not everyone agrees with his views, some of which were taken out of context, but they’ll be heard.
98 Zara Phillips, World-champion eventer
Almost single-handedly responsible for raising the profile of equestrian sport, through genuine achievement world and European titles glamour, graceful handling of media attention when she’s fallen off and even that Sports Personality speech. The flipside is that when she’s having a quiet time, like this year, the sports pages lose interest.
99 Charlotte Kerwood, World-class gun
The glamorous Olympic 2012 hopeful target shooter was selected at 14 to represent her country, and she won golds at the Commonwealth Games in Manchester and Melbourne.
100 Katie Price, Model
Yes, really. The model-turned-equestrienne is a more astute businesswoman than her fluffy pink gilets and red-top exploits indicate. An ambassador for the 2012 equestrian sports, the massive queues at her stand at Badminton and Burghley are testament to her drawing power.