SOUTH Lakes-based rural consultant Michael Mashiter has been appointed the new national president of the Central Association of Agricultural Valuers (CAAV).

Mr Mashiter, who works for North West Auctions at J36 Rural Auction Centre, Crooklands, was elected to the post at the organisation’s annual meeting in Grantham.

A rural valuer, surveyor and auctioneer, Mr Mashiter has worked throughout the north of England for almost 53 years. He lives near Kirkby Lonsdale.

“This is a tremendous honour for me,” he said. “It is always rewarding to receive recognition from within your own profession.”

He said the CAAV played a key, but often unseen, role in UK rural life, and he was looking forward to a busy year in office.

He added: “We will be dealing with the potential complexities of the 2015 Common Agricultural Policy as it reaches its implementation phase. We will also be involved in a wide range of rural issues from fracking to possible farm tenancy law changes, tax and planning policy and we will be providing advice in China as it develops a rural land market.

"In addition to this, we will continue to influence Government strategy and professional practice.”

Mr Mashiter, a farmer’s son with farming ancestors on both sides of his family, was one of five boys in a family of six.

He said his entry into the profession was decided when he was 11-years-old. He was told he would become an auctioneer as there was no room on the farm for all the family.

He started as a traineer auctioneer and valuer at Bentham in 1961 with Richard Turner & Sons.