Why Yorkshire needs strong rural voices – The Yorkshire Post says

THE Yorkshire Post was proud to honour Dorothy Fairburn with the lifetime achievement accolade at our Rural Awards ceremony last night – the CLA North, and this county, has been blessed to have such a tireless ambassador and advocate for the countryside.

Dorothy Fairburn retired earlier this year as the longstanding director of CLA North.

Yet it is also important to record the wider significance of her retirement and the announcement that Nigel Pulling intends to retire as chief executive of Yorkshire Agricultural Society.

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He took up the role in 2001 – the year of of foot-and-mouth – and news of his impending departure coincides with the pragmatic decision to extend the Great Yorkshire Show to four days following a successful trial in July as part of Covid crowd control protocols.

Dorothy Fairburn retired earlier this year as the longstanding director of CLA North.

Few will appreciate the size of the debt that the entire county owes to these two much-respected leaders. Yet, as one era draws to a close, it is also an opportunity for a new generation to champion the rural economy at this critical time.

Lucinda Douglas is making her mark as the CLA North’s new director with an impassioned plea this week to Ministers to help tackle the labour shortages afflicting agriculture while Susan Briggs, of the Dales Tourism Network, has issued a strong reminder this weekend about the damaging leadership and trust vacuum at the Welcome to Yorkshire tourism agency.

Nigel Pulling is the outgoing chief executive of Yorkshire Agricultural Society.

Evidence of the breadth of expertise here, it is also imperative that rural Yorkshire presents an united front, and speaks with authority and wisdom, if current challenges are to be overcome and future opportunities maximised.

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Prince Charles was a guest at this year's Great Yorkshire Show which is being extended to four days on a permanent basis. he is pictured with Nigel Pulling.