Countryside Alliance chief executive Alice Barnard has today announced that she is to stand down from her position to take up a similar role at an education charity.

Mrs Barnard, who has been at the Countryside Alliance for five years – the past 14 months as chief executive – will work for a period of notice.

She said: “My five years at the Alliance have been some of the best years of my life, and I would not leave the organisation if I didn’t feel that the opportunity that presented itself to me was not one that I could miss out on.”

Kate Hoey, chairman of the Countryside Alliance, said: “The Countryside Alliance board is very sorry to see Alice leave and we wish her well.

“Under her leadership, the Countryside Alliance has been reinvigorated and resourced to continue to push the positive case for the countryside and to fight its many threats.”