Two key appointments to the Clinton Devon Estates management team

Clinton Devon Estates has strengthened its senior management team with the appointment of Ben Rudkin as Chief of Staff and Sam Briant-Evans as Farms Manager of the Clinton Devon Farms Partnership.

The land and property business, with headquarters at Bicton Arena in East Budleigh, owns and manages 25,000 acres of land across North and East Devon.

Both Ben and Sam will be supporting Clinton Devon Estates’ (The Estate’s) 2030 strategy which focuses on delivering a range of environmental, business and community initiatives to generate a vibrant and sustainable future in the county and beyond.

Estates Director John Varley said: “With declarations of climate emergency and a growing need to achieve a carbon net zero future, large rural estates such as ours have the ability to deliver ever-more effective landscape scale projects that can make a real difference to the environment and to the people who live and work in our rural communities.

“From traditional activities such as farming and forestry to looking at new ways of generating sustainable and renewable energy and providing space for nature and for people to enjoy, we want to lead the way in this new era,” he added.

Ben brings a wealth of experience in operations and business improvement and management. He said: “Increasing operational efficiency and a focus on continuous improvement has been a key element of my previous roles, and something I intend to focus on as we continue to drive the business forward.

“We have an exciting agenda in place, which focuses on land use, good governance and investment for the future. Bringing together the extensive skills and experience of the Estate team will enable us to deliver our ambitious strategy over the coming years,” he added.

Sam Briant-Evans will manage the Clinton Devon Farm Partnership’s two organic dairy farms in East Devon, Otter farm and Dalditch farm, where a herd of 750 cows graze locally and produce 5.4 million litres of milk each year.

Sam said: “I am looking forward to managing a profitable family business in a way that’s sustainable and in touch with the environment. At a pivotal time for the industry, we are working towards achieving the government’s objectives to reward farmers for the public benefits they provide.

“As an Estate, we are well placed to get involved in our communities with the various initiatives we lead on and will look forward to learning more about the funding available,” he added.

Sam joins the estate from his previous role as Farms Manager at the Castle Hill Estate in North Devon. He is employed by Europe’s leading farming company Velcourt Limited, which was appointed by The Estate in 2017 to manage the farm’s operations and assist in steering it through the complexities of Brexit.

With shared values of achieving the highest standards for farming and milk production, its management plan focuses on improving organic dairy performance in terms of output and productivity, whilst meeting ambitious targets for soil and water quality.