Newly appointed CLA North Director said she has "big shoes to fill" as she prepares to take over from Dorothy Fairburn

The newly appointed CLA director North, Lucinda Douglas, said she has “big shoes to fill” as she gets ready for her new role.

Lucinda will take over from Dorothy Fairburn who has been in the role for two decades.

Lucinda, who grew up on the family farm near Leyburn in the Yorkshire Dales, will be taking over from long-standing northern director, Dorothy Fairburn, who announced her retirement earlier this year.

“I am absolutely over the moon to be appointed to this position at the CLA,” Lucinda said. “I have really big shoes to fill but I am very excited about it.”

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Currently an agent and group secretary for NFU Mutual in Yorkshire, a role she has held for the past five years, Lucinda started her career as a rural surveyor, practicing for five years and has also worked for the NFU in the North East as a county adviser.

With a role which will cover Cumbria and Lancashire as well as Yorkshire, Lucinda, who lives with her husband on an arable and beef farm near Pickering, said she was excited about working with CLA members across the northern area.

Retiring CLA director North, Dorothy Fairburn, said she was “delighted” to welcome Lucinda to the CLA. “Lucinda’s knowledge and experience in the rural sector would be of great benefit to CLA members.”

Dorothy added that it was an interesting time for Lucinda to be taking on the role.

“I am envious of Lucinda, as the next few years will offer a heady mix of exciting and challenging policy developments within the agri and land management sector. I wish her well and hope she will find the role as rewarding as I have.”

Lucinda said she was looking forward to working with the CLA North team and hearing from CLA members across the North in order to represent and lobby on their behalf.

She said one of the biggest challenges in the new agricultural landscape will be making sure businesses are sustainable in the longer term. “Everyone wants some certainty and that is easy to say but difficult to deliver,” she said.

“We need to be able to build resilience into businesses so they are supported by subsidies and we are trying to maximise what they can deliver to landowners and farmers on the ground.

“Nobody wants to farm based on just handouts and certainly everybody wants to be resilient and essentially sustainable enough to farm themselves.”