About Us

Herefordshire Rural Hub was established in September 2004. We exist to support economic, social and environmental improvements in the farming and rural businesses of Herefordshire.

We are recognised nationally as an example of best practice for practical rural delivery. More importantly, we are recognised locally for the quality, impartiality and honesty of the advice, information and support we provide.

What we do:

We provide events, workshops and our monthly newsletter to keep you up to date with the things that matter.

We enable access to free 1:1 business advice through DEFRA’s Future Farming Resilience Fund which we deliver in partnership with The Prince’s Countryside Fund and Ricardo.

We work collaboratively with a wide range of partners to ensure local delivery is joined up and effectively supports the needs of our rural community.

How does our work help?

 

Herefordshire Rural Hub exists to promote economic, social and environmental improvements in farming and rural businesses in Herefordshire.

 

Through the work we do we aim to help every farming and rural business in Herefordshire to:

  • develop their business and take advantage of business opportunities
  • stay fully informed of legislation/cross compliance changes and funding
  • take advantage of formal and informal training opportunities that will help them develop their business and improve their business skills by targeting younger ‘next generation’ farmers in particular
  • support exiting famers and those who want to diversify their businesses
  • work together to ensure the future of farm businesses and rurally based businesses, reduce isolation and support the rural community.

Meet the team:

Kate Speke-Adams

Kate Speke-Adams

Managing Director

 

Kate has been a voluntary Director of the Hub since 2018, and in January 2023 she was appointed as Managing Director to lead on the development of the Hub, made possible by the Prince’s Countryside Fund Farm Support Group initiative.

For the previous eight years Kate worked at The Wye & Usk Foundation, establishing and managing a team of farm advisers and delivering projects to support farm businesses to take action to enhance their farms & deliver benefits for water and wildlife.

Max Eckhert

Max Eckhert

Wyescapes Programme Manager

 

Max joined the Hub in 2024 to manage our DEFRA Landscape Recovery project called Wyescapes. The project brings together land managers in the floodplain and seeks to develop an alternative model that benefits both the businesses and the wider river environment.

Max has spent his life in the Wye Valley, has a strong grounding, has a First-Class BSc Hons in

Agriculture from his studies at the University of Nottingham.

Liz Lloyd

Liz Lloyd

Herefordshire Rural Hub Chair of Directors

Liz was born and grew up on the family farm in the Golden Valley in Herefordshire, where the family still farms and where, as part of a farm diversification plan, they have developed a group of barns into luxury holiday accommodation. Liz moved back to the county 15 years ago.

Her career has included roles as operations manager for PGL Adventure Ltd and business development director for the Youth Hostels Association. She is a field officer for Four Acre Trust, a charity founded by her partner that supports charities that give individuals – mainly children and young people – help in making the most of their lives.

Charlotte Gibb

Charlotte Gibb

Herefordshire Rural Hub Director

Charlotte’s background is in education and agriculture. She worked at Holme Lacy Campus for 30+ years teaching agriculture and then managing a broad range of land based curriculum areas including Retail, Forestry, Gamekeeping, Equine, Animal Care, Blacksmithing, Farriery, Welding and Fabrication and legislative short courses.

Charlotte worked alongside Cathy to set up the Rural Hub and to run European funded initiatives including delivery of IT in village halls throughout the county and rural retailing.  Now semi-retired Charlotte has a part time role carrying out Quality Assurance for City and Guilds as well as helping her partner on their sheep farm on the Herefordshire/Worcestershire border.

Sarah Starkey

Sarah Starkey

Farm Resilience Project Manager

Sarah runs this Prince’s Countryside Fund project on behalf of the Herefordshire Rural Hub.  This unique three year project aims to establish long term viability for Herefordshire’s family farms, working with each farm on an individual basis to create a brighter future.

From a farming background, Sarah also farms in partnership with her husband on the Herefordshire/Worcestershire border, producing commercial cider fruit, award-winning perry, and running a pedigree Lleyn sheep flock.  Sarah is an active member of the Tenbury Agricultural Society.

Victoria Stanton-Humphries

Victoria Stanton-Humphries

Finance Officer

 Victoria joined our team in 2024 as the Finance Officer.

Bringing with her over 15 years of experience in finance and business management.  Expertise in simplifying complex processes and leveraging Cloud Accounting software helps streamline our operations.

Victoria takes pride in efficiently supporting our growth and development efforts through excellent financial management.

Cathy Meredith

Cathy Meredith

Herefordshire Rural Hub Director

Cathy retired as Co-ordinator of Herefordshire Rural Hub in 2019, having spent 14 years in post.

She continues to support the Hub as a Director.

Having spent many years as a national committee member for the Institute of Agricultural Secretaries and Administrators (IAgSA) including a stint as Chairman, Cathy now leads a quieter life.

A large garden and 3 dogs take up her time these days but she still maintains her interest in farming issues, particularly the current Agricultural Transition Programme.

John Joseph

John Joseph

Herefordshire Rural Hub Director

 

John farms at Trecorras in Llangarron with his wife Julie. Trecorras is a mixed enterprise following regenerative principles in their arable cropping and one of the early adopters in the county of direct drilling. John has hosted several events with Herefordshire Hub over the years, sharing openly the approach he takes on farm.

Alongside the arable enterprise and John’s pride and joy is the pasturefed Red Poll Cattle. Trecorras now supplies beef to the public via beef boxes and to local restaurants.

Livy Braid

Livy Braid

Farm Resilience Project Coordinator

 

Livy works with Sarah in delivering our farm resilience projects.

Livy brings with her experience in soil and crop nutrition as well as bookkeeping and budgeting. She and her husband have a mixed farming enterprise across several tenancies on both sides of the Herefordshire-Monmouthshire border.

 

 

Rhia Bell

Rhia Bell

Hub Administrator

 

Rhia joined the hub in May 2024 as the hubs administrator.

With extensive experience in accounts, administration, sales, and marketing, Rhia brings a wealth of knowledge and expertise to our team.

Beyond the office, Rhia lives on a farm near Weobley, Herefordshire.  The rural lifestyle has become an integral part of Rhia’s identity, and it fuels her enthusiasm for supporting and engaging with rural communities.

 

Christine Hope

Christine Hope

Herefordshire Rural Hub Director

hristine is founder of one of Herefordshire’s leading local food retailers, Hopes of Longtown. She also runs Hope to Achieve, an enterprise that is a business mentor to start up and small businesses.

She represents Golden Valley and Black Mountains Experience group to improve the tourism offer and is a Governor at Peterchurch Primary School.

Christine aims to be a rural community champion and was delighted to be the catalyst that sparked the interest of film maker Ann Cottinger to follow six young rural people for over 12 months creating the documentary film “Tune for the Blood”. 

Skip to content