(for the 2020 The Devonshire Association President's Symposium)

Rachel Thomas has been the Chairman of the Exmoor Society since 2003 and served as President of The Devonshire Association in 2009. She joined the Countryside Commission in 1987, becoming Commissioner before its merger with the Rural Development Agency when it became the Countryside Agency, later Natural England. In her Presidential Address to the DA membership she described, “..a more integrated approach to rural development that recognises the natural capital of landscape (including natural beauty) and how this is linked to human wellbeing.

Rachel was awarded a CBE in 1997 for services to the countryside, National Parks, forestry and rural development and has for many years served as a Deputy Lord Lieutenant of Devon.


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