THE Director North of the Country Land and Business Association (CLA), Dorothy Fairburn, has announced her retirement in spring this year.

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) while 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. There 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 per cent of the rural land in the North region.

Dorothy was awarded an MBE in the 2011 New Year Honours List in recognition of her services to rural affairs.

Miss 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. I will certainly miss so many valued colleagues and members, but will not be leaving until late spring this year and will certainly not be slowing down. 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. Throughout her time at the CLA, she has demonstrated an utmost commitment to work on behalf of members to promote the rural economy at large, and is well-respected and valued across the rural community. We are already in the process of finding someone of Dorothy’s calibre to lead the CLA’s team in the North, and thank her for her commitment till the very end.”

For enquiries about filling the position, call Ben Ingram on 0207 529 6340 or email