Visit from the High Sheriff

The High Sheriff of Wiltshire, Sir Charles Hobhouse, spent the day visiting Uplands Enterprise Trust on Wednesday, 17th November. Sir Charles was very interested to see young people from the education provisions engaging in the farm activities and taking responsibility for the care of the animals. Sir Charles enjoyed meeting one of the young people from Skills for Work who has been offered work experience at the farm, and who was taking care of the vegetable beds. Sir Charles left with a gift of free range eggs and home produced pickles.

Sir Charles then headed to meet the team at the Skills for Work office who were greeted by Lucy Ann and Lewis who had set up a table for lunch and served refreshments. The team were busy making blankets from crisp packets to offer to the homeless and putting together packages to donate to the Salvation Army. It was great to see the contribution that UET make to the local community. Sir Charles left with a lovely gift of homemade candles.

Next stop, was Shaw Farm to meet Jackie Fieldwick (nee Smith) MBE, the CEO of UET and have a tour of the Short Breaks facilities. Sir Charles really enjoyed the day and will hopefully return to view the other provisions within the UET shortly.

Wiltshire’s new High Sheriff was sworn in on Monday, 29th March 2021 in a ceremony which dates back to Saxon times. But like last year, the ceremony was anything but traditional! The Declaration and acceptance by Sir Charles Hobhouse Bt. was a ‘virtual’ one and followed the Service for the Rule of Law, which was hosted by the outgoing High Sheriff, Major General Ashley Truluck. 

Sir Charles said, “It is a great honour to become High Sheriff of Wiltshire for 2021/22.  During my year I hope to visit many local charities throughout Wiltshire and Swindon. My main theme will be the care of people with mental health issues, particularly the young, and how to better include them in mainstream society. I will also be taking a strong interest in wildlife conservation and the environment”. 

Sir Charles is from the village of Monkton Farleigh, near Bradford-on-Avon, where he runs a wildlife friendly mixed farming estate. He previously lived in Australia for a few years and travelled extensively through the continents of Africa and South America. One consequence of this was he became quite familiar with the London Tropical Diseases Hospital at Kings Cross! He continues to enjoy mountaineering and trekking to obscure places.

As well as farming, Sir Charles is involved with various wildlife groups and individuals who keep records of birds, butterflies, dragonflies, moths and bats present. He is currently chairman of the Wiltshire Country Landowners Association. He is married to Annette, who is from New South Wales, and they have two boys aged 11 and 9.

Additional background information

The High Sheriff is the Sovereign’s representative in the County for matters of law and order.  It is the oldest secular office in England and Wales after the Crown. High Sheriffs play an active role in upholding the principal parts of the Constitution i.e. members of the Royal family when visiting the County; the Judiciary, Police, Prison service and other law enforcement agencies; the Emergency Services, Local Authorities, and all recognised faith groups. They also work closely with the voluntary sector in their wider role of helping maintain safe and stable communities. The post is entirely voluntary and unpaid.