AS it celebrates its 113th birthday the president of the Country Land and Business Association, Mark Bridgeman, said the organisation is as relevant as ever.

The membership body was founded in 1907 in response to proposals on land nationalisation and compulsory purchase of land without compensation.

Mr Bridgeman, who farms close to Alnwick, said: “As Lord Harewood, who chaired the first meeting of the authority said, there was never a time during his lifetime – and he was born in the famous Corn Law year – when agriculture in this country so greatly required united organisation to put pressure on Parliament.

“The organisation is as relevant today as it was then, especially with regard to Brexit and its implications for landowners and farmers. Just prior to last year’s general election, the CLA launched its Rural Powerhouse campaign which is rooted in the belief that the countryside has an exciting future and we all have a role in shaping it.”

CLA North director, Dorothy Fairburn, said: “Over the past century, the organisation has grown from a small regional lobbying group into one of the country’s most active and influential rural economy campaigners.

“It represents more than 30,000 members, involved in more than 250 different types of businesses. CLA members own and manage over 50 per cent of rural land in England and Wales. Despite all the changes over this period, the CLA has remained steadfast in amplifying the voice of rural landowners and farmers, and will continue to do so.”

The CLA supports landowners by advising them on how to best protect their land interests and lobbies for positive development of the rural economy.