Saturday, 3 March 2018

Change of Director: The Last Word

I have the decanter - time to go!
Yesterday was my last day at the helm of the Trust and Anne Gray takes over, first thing on Monday.

We have travelled a long way during my era and it is more than time that some else took over to move the Trust forward.  It will be for Anne to determine how the Trust's particular mix of strengths and weaknesses can best be brought to bear on the myriad of challenges that face us.

I will be continuing to support the Trust as a consultant from the HT back benches, and I will be leading on some projects, until there is an opportunity to hand these over.

So what of our successes during my tenure:
  • Our strapline that the Trust is 'Promoting Integrated Moorland Management' seems to be more relevant now than it was when first adopted, early in my time.  
  • The use of a collaborative, partnership approach to issues has become central to the way that the Trust operates.
  • The Trust's independent position has allowed us to be accepted as a facilitator / coordinator / safe pair of hands in many roles.
  • Some reserves have been built up to provide the Trust with a little financial flexibility.
The standout area of less success is that the stand off over raptor persecution has continued and the vitriolic debate around this issue runs unabated.
  • Until a way can be found to sort this issue, or at least find a way round it, progress will be restricted.  The trenches seem to be as deep as ever.
  • The grouse moor fraternity must find a way to root out the few bad eggs that jeopardise the hard, often exceptional work of so many others.
  • The bird lobby must be prepared to compromise to encourage change from others.
  • Progress will benefit all interests.
  • I remember well my thoughts on leaving a meeting of the North of England Raptor Forum where I had given a presentation about burning.  My view was that I had not met such a knowledgeable, committed enthusiastic group since I had been at a gamekeepers meeting.  Why can we not all pull in the same direction?
This is my last post on the Heather Trust blog.  Anne Gray will takeover as the author from Monday.  I have set up a new blog VallumVoice where I will continue occasional ramblings - please join me.

Thank you to all who have supported the Trust during my tenure: the HT Team, Board members, HT members and the others that have supported the Trust's work in many ways, such as through the Country Market & Sporting Sale (still looking for Lots for 2018) or by attending our events. There is much still to be done and with your continuing support The Heather Trust will be in the thick of it.

Finally, my thanks go to Anne Gray for rising to the challenge.  I wish her well.

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