Sir Ralph Verney

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SIR Ralph Verney, 5th Bt (died in 2001) "He was chairman of the Nature Conservancy Council from 1980 to 1983, at a time when wildlife habitats were under increasing threat from intensive farming methods... Verney was chairman from 1960 to 1996 of the Radcliffe Trust, a foundation dedicated to astronomy which had been created under the will of the royal physician John Radcliffe in Oxford in 1713... In addition Verney was a trustee for 30 years of the Ernest Cook Trust, which derived income from traditional country estates and used it to support young musicians, artists and craftsmen; Verney brought wisdom and new ideas both to the management of the estates and the distribution of grants...

"Verney was a founder of the Timber Growers' Association and the Game Fair, a member of the Royal Commission on Environmental Pollution, and a speaker and delegate at conferences on conservancy topics at home and abroad...Ralph Verney was also a prominent figure in the world of freemasonry; he was grand superintendent for Buckinghamshire for 25 years, and a provincial grand master from 1970 to 1976. In the City of London he was prime warden of the Worshipful Company of Dyers in 1969...

"In 1960 he and his wife - a talented pianist - instigated an annual Claydon concert series, an early example of the fashion for music in country house settings which The Daily Telegraph called "as much an experience for the concert enthusiast as visiting Glyndebourne is for the opera lover"."[1]

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  1. Telegraph Sir Ralph Verney, organizational web page, accessed February 3, 2012.