His Majesty’s Lord-Lieutenant of Devon
David Fursdon and his family have lived in Devon for 40 years continuing a very long family tradition of living in the County. He is married with 3 children and 4 grandchildren.
He was commissioned into the 6th Gurkha Rifles, serving in Brunei and Hong Kong, before winning a Scholarship to Oxford where he won two cricket blues. He then joined the fast stream entry to the Civil Service, working in Arms Control in the MOD and on a UK delegation at a UN Conference in Geneva. Transferring to Devon he taught at Blundell’s school in Tiverton where he was subsequently to Chair the Governors for 10 years. After further education at the Royal Agricultural University, where he is now an honorary Fellow, he then became a rural surveyor and has worked in agriculture and rural property across Devon and elsewhere for over 30 years. He currently chairs the Board of a progressive farming company that uses technology to try to improve sustainability.
His other work has included being elected to lead the CLA, an organisation that, at the time, represented 50,000 members on a variety of rural issues. He was also a Commissioner and Board member of the Crown Estate and of English Heritage; a Board member of the SW Regional Development Agency and, as a volunteer, led the SW Board for the 2012 Olympic Games.
Other voluntary work has included trustee and board member of the National Trust; chairing the joint Government and Agricultural Industry ‘Future of Farming’ report; chairing the SW Rural Productivity Commission following his earlier work on the Affordable Rural Housing Commission, the Heritage Protection Review and the Rural Housing Policy Group; chairing the Devon Inquiry as part of his role on the Food, Farming and Countryside Commission; chairing the SW Rural and Farming Network for DEFRA; serving on the Duchy of Cornwall rural committee and the Board of Historic Houses; acting as High Sheriff of Devon and chairing his local parish meeting for 35 years!
He chaired the NSPCC Full Stop Appeal in Devon but now as Lord Lieutenant has an interest in all Devon charities and how they can work together more effectively.
The Rt Hon. The Countess of Arran MBE VLL
The Countess of Arran has a distinguished record as a landowner at Castle Hill, Filleigh in North Devon living at her family, the Fortescue’s Estate where she has been actively involved with the development of agriculture and leisure over the years. Many people will also have visited the lovely gardens that surround Castle Hill which are open to the public.
Although now retired from that business and succeeded by her elder daughter, Lady Arran is very active, particularly in charitable work in North Devon. No stranger to public office, she was the High Sheriff of Devon in 1994/95, and has been President of both the Royal Bath & West Show and the Devon County Show. As President or Patron, she has been involved with amongst others, West Buckland School, the North Devon Hospice, Calvert Trust Exmoor, the Alms Houses in Barnstaple, the local branch of the Burma Star Association and the Royal Devon Yeomanry. For many years too, she has been on the Prince’s Council for the Duchy of Cornwall where she has played an important role right across the farms on the Duchy Estate.