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Caroline Higgs (Chairman) has been involved with The Trust since 1988, becoming a Trustee in 1990, Secretary in 1994 and Chairman in 2004 following her mother’s retirement.
A primary school teacher, Caroline taught in the private sector before becoming a freelance cook and soft-furnisher.During this time she was also a supply teacher in Cumbria and Dumfriesshire where her interest in rural affairs developed.She is currently running an English programme for bi-lingual French children.
Caroline was formerly a board member with Voluntary Action Cumbria and is on the Advisory Committee of the Arkleton Institute in Aberdeen.
Margaret Clark OBE has been a Trustee of The Trust since 2002
Margaret is a former director and deputy chief executive of the Commission for Rural Communities, the Countryside Agency and the Rural Development Commission. She has a particular interest in rural housing and was closely involved in HRH The Prince of Wales's Affordable Rural Housing Initiative from its inception. Currently, she is the chairman of the Hastoe Housing Group and the Somerset, Devon and Dorset Community Land Trust Project. She is also a member of the CPRE's Policy Committee.
She is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts and she was awarded the OBE in 1999 for services to rural development..
Frank Rennie became a Trustee in 2005.
Professor Frank Rennie is a past Arkleton Fellow (1985) and is currently with Lews Castle College, University of The Highlands and Islands.He is head of research and post-graduate development.His research interests lie in the general areas of rural and community development, especially in community-based approaches to integrated sustainable development. Recent work has been on new approaches to online education for and about rural communities. He is a Fellow of a number of learned societies, an advisor to several government programmes and committees and is a regular speaker at international conferences..
Christopher Madine became a trustee in 2010.
Chris Madine was first involved with the Trust in 2007 as a John Higgs Awardee. Since then he has undertaken research for
the Trust following the Chuckchee - Barefoot project. He is currently self employed in forestry.
Kate has worked as the Director of Carnegie UK Trust Rural Programme for six years. Previously a Chief Executive of Voluntary Action Cumbria (Cumbria’s Rural Community Council), she has pioneered rural women's networks and social enterprises, and has managed LEADER and other EU funded programmes and was awarded a MBE in Millennium Honours for services to rural communities
Mark Shucksmith OBE became a trustee in 2011.
Mark is well known for his research on social exclusion in rural areas, rural housing and rural development. He is Professor of Planning at Newcastle University, and was formerly Co-Director (with John Bryden) of the Arkleton Centre for Rural Development Research at Aberdeen University. In addition to his research and teaching, Mark continues to be a Commissioner with the Commission for Rural Communities, 2005-2012, responsible for advising the Government on rural policy. He also chaired the Committee of Inquiry on Crofting for the Scottish Government 2007-08.
In 2009 Mark was awarded an OBE for services to rural development and to crofting.
President (Non-Trustee Position)
Lady Higgs became a Trustee of The Trust following her husband’s death in 1986, taking over the Chairmanship after the AGM in 1986. She was a trustee until 2011 but continues as the President of the Trust
Elizabeth Higgs has as her principal interests all aspects of rural life and was very actively involved in many organisations. She is currently President of Oxfordshire Rural Community Council, previously she was chairman. She was a district councillor, a lay chairman of the Oxford Diocesan Synod and on the Bishop’s Council – Parsonages Board and the Chairman of the Glebe Committee. Other committees she was a member of include the Rural Stress Information Network Committee, the village low cost housing scheme, the Young Farmer’s Club advisory committee. She was a Governor at the local comprehensive school and is Master of basset hounds. In 2005 Lady Higgs was awarded the Diocesan order of St. Frideswide.
Vice President (Non-Trustee Position)
Kay Killingsworth was Secretary to the Trustees from 1984 to 1993, when she became Honorary Vice-President.
Kay retired from the Food and Agriculture Organization in 2002, after 33 years during which she held various positions, including that of Secretary-General of the 1996 World Food Summit, and finally as Assistant Director-General and Special Advisor on World Food Summit Follow-up.