Lord Barber of Tewkesbury obituary


Chairman of the Countryside Commission who tried to bridge the gap between modern farming and conservation

Derek Barber, Lord Barber of Tewkesbury, who has died aged 99, spent much of his long career in public life trying to bridge the gap between modern farming and the conservation of wildlife and landscape. He was chairman of the Countryside Commission from 1981 to 1991 and few people can claim to have left such an imprint on British rural life.

His leadership was marked by numerous initiatives – Groundwork (now a national movement to encourage communities to improve their local environments), the National Forest (a new forested area in the Midlands), the reinvigoration of rights of way and the independent national parks – that have become established parts of the environmental scene in England and Wales.

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