Meet the Herefordshire Rural Hub team
The Herefordshire Rural Hub team is made up of people who own or manage farm or rural businesses in the county. It means they understand the realities of rural life and business.
Frances Keogh, Herefordshire Rural Hub Administrator
Fran keeps the Hub’s administration in order and and assists on various hub projects. She combines this with farm administration work which gives her working knowledge of the issues that farmers encounter on a day to day basis.
She is a member of the National and local Herefordshire branch of the Institute of Agricultural Secretaries & Administrators and is an active member of Our Lady Queen of Martyrs RC Church in Hereford.
In her spare time she enjoys walking, cooking, cryptic crosswords, and spending time with her family especially her grandchildren.
Sarah Starkey, project facilitator for “2020 Vision for Herefordshire’s Family Farms”
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.
Lizzie Davidson, Herefordshire Rural Hub Newsletter Editor
Lizzie is new to the Herefordshire Rural Hub team and is taking over from Fran as newsletter editor.
Lizzie lives in North Herefordshire with her family, and enjoys spending time outdoors. Lizzie works freelance for rural Herefordshire businesses and is looking forward to being involved with Herefordshire Rural Hub.
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.
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.
Christine Hope, Herefordshire Rural Hub Director
Christine 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”.
Chris England, Herefordshire Rural Hub Director
Chris’s background is in Army service followed by a career in project management and business support particularly in the voluntary and community sector. He helped the original Directors of Herefordshire Rural Hub when the idea for the Hub was first mooted and was invited to join the Board in 2015.
Now semi-retired Chris is involved in woodland management, providing advice and guidance on controlling deer populations in Herefordshire. He continues to support local voluntary, community and charitable organisations advising them about funding opportunities, business planning and staff development. He has a keen interest in improving Basic Life Support skills in our rural communities and is a volunteer instructor with Herefordshire Heartstart.
Kate Speke, Herefordshire Rural Hub Director
Kate is the returning Nuffield Scholar for 2015.
Kate works for The Wye & Usk Foundation, one of the UK’s leading Rivers Trust’s. She manages a team of catchment advisors, delivering projects that support farmers and landowners to protect Herefordshire’s rivers and streams and the ecosystem services they provide.
Kate is a partner in the family farm, a 450acre mixed farm in North Herefordshire.
She undertook a Nuffield Scholarship in 2015 and is currently Chairman of Herefordshire Grassland Society as well as sitting on the Council of the Three Counties Agricultural Society.
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.
The Hot Group
The members of Herefordshire Rural Hub’s Hot Group are representatives from local businesses. They meet regularly and help keep us in touch with the needs of rural businesses and the rural community.
- The Directors and …
- Jenny Beard – Herefordshire Sustainable Food & Tourism Partnership & Herefordshire Churches Tourism Group
- Ben Corbett – Corbett & Co Surveyors
- Paul Crumpton – Rural, Business & Cyber Crime Reduction Co-ordinator (Herefordshire, West Mercia Police)
- Catherine Every – Pippin Consultancy Ltd
- Clare Greener – NFU
- Rachel Jones – Herefordshire Council
- Frances Keogh – Herefordshire Rural Hub Administrator
- Andy Offer – Farmer
- Julian Partridge – NFU & farmer
- Nick Read – Borderlands Rural Chaplaincy