We are governed by a Board of Trustees composed of 9 Members including our Chairman, Steve Bell.
Steve Bell joined the Country Trust as a Trustee in 2018, became Vice Chair in 2019 and was delighted to become Chairman in February 2021. As a Chartered Accountant, he has extensive commercial experience, practising with one of the largest accountancy firms (EY) for 33 years for which he became a partner in 1999. Steve joined Action For Children as a Trustee in late 2020, and in February 2021 became Chair of their Audit and Risk Committee. Steve is an Independent Member of the RTGS/CHAPS Board and its Risk Committee within the Bank of England.
Steve has personal fundraising experience including running the London Marathon and trekking in the Sahara and is a keen walker and is regularly found on the footpaths of Essex. Alongside his family commitments, Steve plays golf and is a keen cricket supporter.
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 university Andrew spent over 32 years working in the Diplomatic Service, serving in Europe (East and West) and Africa in a variety of political, consular and media relations roles. This was followed by a spell as an independent consultant.
In 2010 his career took a different path when he was appointed CEO of the Dulverton Trust, a grant-making charity which donates a total of around £3million a year to a variety of charities, including the Country Trust, many of which focus on helping young people from less advantaged backgrounds to flourish and achieve their ambitions. Following Andrew's retirement from Dulverton it was an easy decision for him to accept an invitation in 2018 to join the Board of the Country Trust given the close alignment of aims. He is also a trustee of Future Trees Trust. Andrew is married with three grown-up children.
Rachael has her own small arable farm in Bedfordshire and has grown up in the Countryside and is passionate about the benefits that we can all gain from being outside and learning more about where our food comes from.
Rachael has worked in the Education Sector for more than 14 years and specialises in working with young people who exhibit challenging behaviour due to SEMH issues ( Social, Emotional and Mental Health) using horses and nature to help them to overcome their barriers to learning. Rachael believes that the opportunity to be outside and engage with nature and the wider world helps to build confidence, resilience and creates links with the world around us.
Rachael became a Trustee in September 2019 and hopes to bring her experience and knowledge of education, farming and the most vulnerable children in our communities to support the further development of The Country Trust in the future.
She has 2 grown up sons and splits her time between Bedfordshire and the North Norfolk Coast where she enjoys walking on the beach and exploring the coastline with her partner David and their 3 dogs.
Anne is a former inner-city Headteacher, who led a number of primary schools in challenging circumstances.
Having grown up on a farm, she was always keen to share her love of the land and countryside with as many pupils as possible. The Country Trust was a great support to her schools and now that she is retired she enjoys working for the Trust in a voluntary capacity as a Trustee.
Keranjit Kaur qualified as a teacher in 2002. She was a full-time KS2 teacher for 20 years in Leicester, in a school where many of the children were learning English as an Additional Language. In 2005 she became a mathematics subject leader and was very pleased as she loves maths. In 2010, she became a year group leader. As part of this role, she organised many visits to enhance learning opportunities creating links with organisations offering outdoor learning experiences such as the Canal and River Trust, the Ernest Cook Trust as well as the Country Trust. More recently, Keranjit completed the NPQSL and NPQH to develop her leadership skills further.
Her extended family in India have farms that are mainly arable and her late father was a farmer until he came to England in the 1960s as a teenager. As a young child, Keranjit enjoyed helping her father plant vegetables and during the first lockdown, she began growing vegetables, strawberries and herbs.
Keranjit is studying towards a Masters in Psychology and is working part-time as a supply teacher to gain experience in different schools. In her spare time, Keranjit enjoys reading, running, walking, baking and gardening.
A former Science and Sport teacher in Lincolnshire and former Country Trust Co-ordinator, Michael returned to Northamptonshire to run his family farm alongside his father in 2018. Michael lives next door to the farm on the outskirts of Oundle with his wife and two children and it didn’t take long for him to integrate education into the farm as he converted a farm barn to a large children’s day nursery. The nursery runs alongside the mixed farm of arable, sheep and cattle which is under a Higher Tier Countryside Stewardship scheme, following the family’s passion for conservation. Michael still hosts Country Trust visits regularly and hopes to bring more and more children onto the farm each year.