Our trustees

The Land Trust has its own board of trustees that represent its founders, the Soil Association, the Land Heritage Trust and the Paget Estate, together with other individuals that bring essential expertise to the board.

Mehr Fardoonji

Mehr owns Oakcroft Organic Garden in Cheshire which she has pledged to the Land Trust. In her 20’s Mehr worked for six years in the Gandhi movement, walking to collect land for the landless as part of Vinoba Bhave's land gift movement. She built her own house in India and began to grow organic vegetables on one acre of land. In 1962 she set up Oakcroft as one of the earliest certified organic gardens in the UK. Mehr still lives there, and the garden is now in stockfree management, which means that it has no animal inputs.

Joanna Herbert Stepney

Joanna is a longstanding member of the Soil Association and supporter of the Land Heritage Trust.  A strong advocate for organic farming, she was unexpectedly left the Paget Estate in 1985. Joanna helped to set up the Land Trust and has pledged her estate to it. She is also involved in a Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) project in Farnham.

Graeme Matravers

Graeme and his wife Vivienne run Manor Farm in Leicestershire, an organic farm that is part of the Paget Estate. Graeme and Vivienne took over Manor Farm in 1994 and immediately set about converting it to organic. It now includes sheep, a beef herd, chickens, an organic farm shop and organic bakery, and regularly hosts school visits. Graeme also chairs the Soil Association’s Farmer and Grower Board.

Roger Mortlock (chair)

Roger is Chief Executive of the Gloucestershire Wildlife Trust. He was previously Deputy Director and Chair of the Food for Life Partnership at the Soil Association, and prior to that Director of Communications at the Royal Shakespeare Company for six years. Roger has worked for the Royal College of Nursing, the charity Community Service Volunteers and the NHS in a range of communications and public policy roles. Before that he worked as a teacher, a writer and a radio journalist for BBC national network and local stations.

Tim Machen

Tim was a director and later chairman of the Land Heritage Trust, one of the precursors of the Land Trust. Trained in agricultural development, he has worked with farmers in the UK and many countries overseas. Having retired on a smallholding, Tim is involved in local community affairs, including an orchard cooperative.

Adam Nicolson

Adam is the author of many books on history and the landscape. He is the son of writer Nigel Nicolson and grandson of the writers Vita Sackville-West and Sir Harold Nicolson and divides his life between Sissinghurst Castle in Kent and his organic farm in Sussex, which he runs with his wife, the gardener and cook Sarah Raven.

David Riddle

David is a professional rural surveyor and has more than 30 years of experience in land management specialising in conservation, environment and public benefit. He has worked for the Peak District National Park, and, for nearly 25 years, with the National Trust. His experience has ranged from hands on estate management and running multi-million pound visitor businesses to strategic planning and consultancy at national level. As Director of Land Use for the National Trust he was responsible for the development of countryside conservation and sustainable land management policy across England, Wales and Northern Ireland. He now works as an independent Rural Resource Management Consultant.

Mervyn Wilson

A former clergyman in the Church of England, Mervyn Wilson co-founded the Rural Theology Association. He has been active in the Rural Community Council of Northamptonshire and various other rural bodies including the Committee of the Family Farmers Association. He is an expert on apples and became a director of the Land Heritage Trust in 2004.

Manor Farm


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