New chairman of the Royal Agricultural Society of England

Hugh Oliver-Bellasis has been appointed as the new chairman of the Royal Agricultural Society of England (RASE), following the resignation of the previous chairman Thomas Wheatley-Hubbard.

Mr Oliver-Bellasis has been on the RASE council since 1983 and, until recently, was involved in a family farm in Hampshire. 

He is well known for overseeing the research carried out by the Game Conservancy Trust, of which he is vice-chairman, into farmland ecosystems and ways of continuing to use agricultural chemicals safely.

Much of this work has now been translated into management practice encouraged under the government’s environmental stewardship scheme.

Mr Oliver-Bellasis said he takes over as RASE chairman at a time of great opportunity and change in the industry. He looked forward to RASE fulfilling its role to inform, influence and enable a better understanding of the countryside in all its varied parts.

RASE chief executive John Moverley said Mr Oliver-Bellasis’s extensive knowledge of farming and the countryside would be a great asset to the society.

He added that Mr Wheatley-Hubbard was resigning as a result of time pressures from his own demanding Wiltshire farm business.

Earlier this month the RASE put its Stoneleigh site – home of the Royal Show – up for sale, after plans to develop it into a National Centre for Rural Excellence were blocked.