Ross MurrayRoss Murray © Tim Scrivener/REX/Shutterstock

Welsh landowner Ross Murray has set out his vision after taking up the presidency of the Country Land and Business Association.

Mr Murray, a Monmouthshire chartered surveyor, became CLA president on Thursday (12 November).

He succeeds Gloucestershire farmer Henry Robinson, who completes his two-year term as president of the membership organisation which represents more than 33,000 landowners, farmers and rural businesses across England and Wales.

Mr Murray said would use his time as CLA president to demonstrate the contribution of the countryside to the national economy.

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The CLA continued to go from strength to strength at a time of uncertainty over the UK’s relationship with Europe and challenging times for farming, he said.

“Managing the land is an active business involving risk and investment,” said Mr Murray.

“Rural businesses take the long view managing and investing across generations, while remaining relevant and innovative and making a major contribution to the economy.”

Mr Murray, who has a number of farming and rural business interests, said he would also show how rural businesses differ from the more urbanised economy. “I look forward to taking our members’ message to the heart of government,” he said.

“The rural economy has agriculture at its heart, as well as protecting our heritage and the environment. Whatever the environmental, social and economic challenges we face, rural businesses are key to the solution.”

“Rural businesses take the long view managing and investing across generations, while remaining relevant and innovative and making a major contribution to the economy.”
Ross Murray, CLA president

Mr Murray and his wife Elizabeth run the Llanover estate, which includes agriculture, forestry and a fishery enterprise on the River Usk.

The estate includes a number of tenanted farms, and Mr and Mrs Murray farm with Black Welsh Mountain sheep.

The couple have also developed the Llanover Business Park on the estate as well as a rural housing portfolio, a village school and a recently opened village store and coffee shop.

Mr Murray has acted as a government-appointed member of Brecon Beacons National Park Authority. He is a trustee of the Wye and Usk Foundation and a supporter of the Rivers’ Trusts movement.

Tim Breitmeyer from Cambridgeshire has been appointed as CLA deputy president, while Mark Bridgeman from Northumberland becomes CLA vice-president.

For a Q&A with Mr Murray, read the 13 November issue of Farmers Weekly or check FWi.co.uk