Born and bred in Somerset, Nick will be well known to many landowners and farmers, having spent 25 years working at Bruton Knowles in estate management; latterly as Chairman, before joining the long established Totnes-based Michelmore Hughes as a Partner in 2014.
The son of an accountant and one of three family members who have been Fellows of the CAAV, Nick started his career at a firm of livestock auctioneers, working his way up through the RICS and CAAV exams. “As soon as I became a Fellow of the CAAV I got involved with lecturing at CAAV tutorials. I now work two days a week lecturing in land management at Reading University and am a visiting research fellow at Exeter University,” he says.
“Engaging with people who are embarking on such a diverse and rewarding career is always interesting. One of my efforts over the coming year as President will be to encourage a more diverse range of people into the profession,” he adds. “I really feel the countryside and our profession need to be more accessible. Industries only survive if they attract new blood so it’s important to attract enthusiastic and bright new entrants to meet the challenges of the constantly changing environment for rural business and communities.”
In his day-to-day role Nick works in land management for private individuals, as well as undertaking valuation and consultancy work. He has worked on a wide variety of projects in the past including managing the Crown Estate’s rural portfolio in the South West, and advising local authorities on the management of council farms and smallholdings.
“I’ve always been interested in the way that valuers can help clients to meet their objectives and bring new ideas and approaches to making the best use of assets,” he explains. “I enjoy finding positive solutions to practical problems, such as restructuring tenancies to enable a family business to grow and a senior tenant to retire with dignity.”
Nick has been a member of the Western Counties Agricultural Valuers Association since he first joined the profession and will be hosting the national AGM in Somerset next year. “It’s so helpful having a strong band of local valuers to exchange the latest information,” he says. “The CAAV works at every level, from influencing government policy to practical muddy boots advice. Having the FAAV badge of membership is also a very important part of securing the trust of other agents and clients across the country.”
In his year as President, Nick hopes to raise the profile of the CAAV and highlight the special skills that agricultural valuers have, which equip them to carry out work across a very broad spread of rural matters. “We have over 2,700 professional members across a range of agricultural and rural professional work – and I’m looking forward to hosting the Somerset AGM next year so that we can show them what our beautiful and varied county has to offer.”
Stepping up to the Senior Vice President’s role will be James Dick; a sole practitioner near Aberdeen, with Geoff Coster; Senior Agricultural Valuation Specialist at the Valuation Office Agency, becoming Junior Vice President.
• For more information contact Olivia Cooper on 01392 840009 or email [email protected]gri-hub.co.uk.