We are governed by a Board of Trustees composed of 8 Members including our Chair, Anne Bufton-McCoy
Anne Bufton-McCoy, Chair of Trustees
Anne became Chair of Trustees in June 2017. She has had a long standing association with The Country Trust - as a former Headteacher, she led a number of schools in challenging circumstances across Birmingham and Leicestershire. Her refusal to allow generational unemployment to dull pupil aspiration has led her to work with us, enabling hundreds of pupils to gain new, exciting experiences and to meet a range of people for whom working and living in the countryside and growing things, is a way of life.
Her mantra is “how can we expect children to write with imagination and flair if we don’t offer them a broad range of ideas and experiences on which to base their ideas?” After over twenty years of headship Anne now advises Headteachers on leadership and management and is a passionate advocate for the work we do.
Tina Fanshawe, Vice Chair of Trustees
Tina is an active beef and sheep farmer in Northamptonshire and, up until the 1990s, a professional chef. She was elected Chair of Trustees in December 2014 and in June 2017 formally handed over the reins to Anne. Tina is totally committed to The Country Trust and the role it plays in educating inner city children outside the classroom and understands the huge importance first hand, having also been an active farm host for the past 20 years. Tina has also been Chairman of her local National Association of Decorative & Fine Arts Society (NADFAS).
A former primary school teacher in the Yorkshire Dales, and Wye College agriculture graduate, Joanna until recently lectured in agriculture at Sparsholt College near Winchester. She ran the educational activities for Hampshire Country Learning, (now Country Trust Hampshire) for 10 years providing curriculum linked experiences on working farms for thousands of school children. Joanna lives on her family farm in Hampshire with husband Chris and loves involving their two young boys in activities with pigs, sheep, calves and game rearing.
Tango was brought up partly in London and also on a hill farm in Co Wicklow, Ireland. At Wye College she studied rural environment studies and then spent several years in Tanzania working with the local agricultural extension workers, as a volunteer for Concern, an Irish NGO. FWAG in Suffolk, was her next appointment whereby after about four years she became Northern Regional Manager for The Farming & Wildlife Advisory Group (FWAG), covering counties from Northumberland to Hereford. Tango has an arable farm in Yorkshire which she manages on a day to day basis, using contractors.
Following their first Stewardship Scheme in 1997, she has been carrying out school farm visits ever since and was lucky enough to secure a grant towards a school building which was completed in 2011. Tango is also on the Yorkshire Agricultural Society - Grants and Education Committee, and Chairman of the Parish Council. Tango is married with three children.
After a first career in the Royal Navy, Nicholas became a Land Agent, qualifying in 1989. Having worked as a Resident Agent for a number of large landowners (including the late President of the Country Trust, the Duke of Westminster), Nicholas became the Chief Executive of The Ernest Cook Trust in 2002. The Ernest Cook Trust is a landowning educational charity with eight estates covering five counties. As well as giving away £1.8m annually in educational grants, the Trust uses its estates as direct educational resources; in 2016 over 30,000 children (including groups from The Country Trust) were welcomed throughout the school year. Nicholas left The Ernest Cook Trust in October 2016; he now runs his own consultancy business, offering support to rural property owners, and charities.
Nicholas has knowledge of charity administration and educational use of landed estates.
Hallam has nearly 30 business years within the energy industry as a marketing consultant, and is now a farmer with many outside interests His abiding passion is now to convert his Friesian-Holstein dairy herd to a grass-based New Zealand model, with improved health from cross-bred cows and high milk constituents, leading to sustainably profitable farming with increased soil quality. He has just completed a complex Better Boundaries project in partnership with the National Park and Natural England. Past projects include an extensive breeding wader-bird scheme, new hedges, nectar strips, field corners and small new plantations. Hallam is married with three children, two dogs and one horse.
James is a Chartered Accountant with 25 years’ experience working in industry and has a specific interest in digital media. He has held a number of senior finance and operational management roles within large corporates in the media sector before striking out into the wonderful world of tech start ups, where he is currently the COO of a crowd-sourced news photo agency. James comes from a farming family and is the grand-son of the founder of The Country Trust, Lance Coates.
Steve is a Chartered Accountant, and has worked within EY (one of the big-4 audit firms) providing a range of professional services to clients since 1987. Steve became a Partner in 1999. During his time at EY, Steve has experience of a series of internal roles related to managing the firm’s risk. He was a latecomer to experiencing the countryside, beginning in 2014 taking increasingly long hikes in rural Essex using public footpaths in preparation for a charity trek. Steve became a Trustee in 2018.
We really value our partnership with schools and are looking to recruit a new Trustee with an educational background. Full details of the role can be found here