THE Country Land and Business Association’s (CLA) Director North Dorothy Fairburn has announced her retirement this spring, and the CLA has now begun the process to find her replacement.

Miss Fairburn first joined the CLA more than 20 years ago, initially involving herself with farming and landowning matters across Yorkshire, before also taking in Lancashire, Cumbria and the North East.

A farmer’s daughter from the North York Moors, Dorothy has clocked up more than 40 years’ service to the rural economy since graduating from Wye College (University of London) with a degree in agriculture.She qualified as a rural practice chartered surveyor (land agent) whilst working for Savills plc in London and York, dealing with sales and purchases of country houses and estates as well as the management of investment estates for financial institutions.

Prior to joining the CLA, Dorothy worked for the National Trust in Yorkshire where she managed some 30,000 acres of outstanding countryside as well as being responsible for historic houses open to the public and the acquisition of major new properties.

As CLA Director North she is responsible for the provision of advice to, and lobbying on behalf of, some 6,000 members who manage more than 50 percent of the rural land in the North region. She was awarded an MBE in the 2011 New Year Honours List in recognition of her services to rural affairs.

Dorothy Fairburn said: “I have thoroughly enjoyed just over 20 years working at this tremendous organisation and take great pride in the passionate commitment of staff who, despite all the current challenges, are continuously working to represent and champion our members’ interests in rural areas, both locally as well as to Westminster politicians.”

She added: “The CLA has been resilient in continuing to support our members, and in order to achieve this in future, we have now embarked on a recruitment drive to ensure a smooth transition.”

CLA Director of Membership Rupert Ashby said: “Under Dorothy’s leadership in the North, the CLA has firmly established its reputation as a forward-thinking organisation representing particular needs of rural businesses and landowners across the region and beyond.”