2019-11-29 

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Honorary Fellowships Bestowed by University of Cumbria

A farmer and a land management expert have been made honorary fellows of the University of Cumbria.

Giles Mounsey-Heysham and Alan Bowe have both received honorary fellowships from the University of Cumbria. Honorary Fellowships are given to individuals who have made outstanding contributions to the university and in support of causes aligned to the work of the institution.

Giles Mounsey-Heysham, of Castletown, Rockcliffe, Carlisle (centre) receives a University of Cumbria honorary fellowship at Carlisle Cathedral on 27 November 2019. Pictured by Chancellor, the Most Reverend and Right Honourable Dr John Sentamu, Archbishop of York, and university vice chancellor Professor Julie Mennell

Giles Mounsey-Heysham (centre) receives a University of Cumbria honorary fellowship. Pictured by Chancellor, the Most Reverend and Right Honourable Dr John Sentamu, Archbishop of York, and university vice chancellor Professor Julie Mennell

(left-right) University of Cumbria Vice Chancellor Professor Julie Mennell with new honorary fellow Alan Bowe and Chancellor, the Most Reverend and Right Honourable Dr John Sentamu, Archbishop of York

(left-right) University of Cumbria Vice Chancellor Professor Julie Mennell with new honorary fellow Alan Bowe and Chancellor, the Most Reverend and Right Honourable Dr John Sentamu, Archbishop of York

Giles Mounsey-Heysham

A farmer who has used conservation to help transform the fortunes of his family’s historic estate has received an honorary fellowship from the University of Cumbria.

Giles Mounsey-Heysham is the ninth generation to manage his ancestral family property, Castletown, near Rockcliffe, Carlisle.

Inheriting the farm following the death of his father, Giles went on to qualify as a chartered surveyor, working for international land agents Cluttons for 35 years. He continues to work as a consultant for Savills today.

In parallel to his professional career, Giles ran the 4,700-acre family farm in rural north Cumbria.

With support from Natural England, he transformed the property from a debt laden, loss making liability to a diverse and profitable business during his high-energy 50 years in charge. 

In April 2019, Giles passed over the management of the property to his eldest son, Toby.

Giles became Master of the Grocers Livery Company in 2003 and in 2018 won the highly-coveted ‘Farming and Wildlife Advisory Group National Silver Lapwing Award’.  This award is from the farming and conservation industry for outstanding efforts to promote good habitat and environmental management and balancing this with food production.

Giles now becomes a University of Cumbria honorary fellow, recognised for his lifelong and outstanding service to land management, agriculture and charitable activity.

In addition to his farming and consultancy work, Giles is heavily involved in the local community.

A Deputy Lieutenant of Cumbria, Giles also chairs the Lake District Calvert Trust and further afield sits on several external bodies such as the Country Land Owners and Historic Houses Associations tax committees.  He also has various non-executive directorships and trusteeships. 

Giles described the accolade as an ‘enormous privilege’ as he addressed graduands and guests at Carlisle Cathedral.

Watched by his wife Penelope and two sisters, Ann and Gentian, he said the conferment was ‘more poignant and special’ due to the weight of family history surrounding him during the ceremony.

He is a descendant of G.G. Mounsey, the first elected Mayor of Carlisle, who had a law firm within 500 metres of the cathedral, and John Heysham, a distinguished doctor and statistician who opened the first dispensary for the poor and has a cathedral window dedicated to him.

Reminding the latest class of 2019 about their university success, Giles urged graduands: “These will have been important and formative years for you.

“You will have made great friendships, you have had a great education and now the world is your oyster. But don’t forget us here in Cumbria. If you have to go away, please come back as you are our future and we need you.”

He added: “Thank you again for this honour. I feel really proud to be a part of the university and I will do everything I can to help it prosper and succeed.”

University pro vice chancellor Michelle Leek said: “Giles has vision, enthusiasm and determination, inspiring all those he has mentored over the years and who work with him. We’re delighted to welcome him to the university as a new honorary fellow.”

Alan Bowe

A renowned agriculture and land management expert has been made an honorary fellow of the University of Cumbria.

The honorary fellowship for Alan Bowe is in recognition of his lifelong and outstanding service to agricultural education and land management.

A Cumbrian born and bred, Alan began his land agency career in 1963 as an articled pupil and assistant to a firm of chartered surveyors in Northumberland, qualifying in 1968. 

Moving to a Keswick-based firm in 1968 as a senior assistant coincided with Alan becoming a Fellow of the Central Association of Agricultural Valuers

Twenty years later he established his own company and grew a significant client-base before amalgamating with Carlisle based auctioneers and land agents Harrison & Hetherington in 1999, immediately becoming a director.  

Between 2006 and 2013 Alan was the non-executive chairman of the H&H Group and remains a consultant of H&H Land and Estates to this day. 

During his career Alan has represented many farmers, landowners and tenants in Cumbria and beyond on a range of issues from tenancies to milk quotas; and land issues to succession planning. 

He is renowned throughout the country for his wealth of knowledge on many agricultural and land matters particularly relating to Cumbria and the Lake District.

In 2015 Alan was awarded the Blamire Medal for outstanding services to agriculture and in 2017 was made an Associate of the Royal Agricultural Societies.

Accepting the honorary fellowship, Alan appealed to graduands to help others to enjoy the benefits of higher education, training and employment.

He said: “The fact that this honour is only bestowed on a limited number of individuals makes its receipt even more precious. Furthermore, as I was not the beneficiary of any university education it means even more.

“Your education is not only a ladder of opportunity, but it is also an investment in your future. You are already on the ladder of success. I request that you in turn assist the young people you come in to contact with to help them take that first step on the ladder.

“This can be done by mentoring those possibly not as fortunate as yourselves. Mentoring is simple, it is taking time to support younger members of the company employing you, or people that you come across in whatever career path you follow, by simply spending a limited amount of time talking with them. A few words of advice and encouragement based on your own experiences goes a long way and can have a tremendous impact.”

Professor Rob Trimble, pro vice chancellor (academic) at the University of Cumbria, said: “Alan has vision, enthusiasm and determination and inspires all those he has mentored over the years and who work with him.

“There are many chartered surveyors and land agents now recognised as highly competent who owe much to Alan’s commitment to young, often newly qualified individuals, who have grown under his guidance.

“His positive approach to life has also enhanced his own learning and opened the doors to many opportunities, challenges and experiences.”

In addition to his consultancy work, Alan is actively engaged in numerous educational and charitable activities. 

Married with three grown-up children, Alan is a warden at St Bega’s and St John’s churches in Bassenthwaite and trustee for several family trusts and individuals on agricultural matters. 

University of Cumbria

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