The 19th Duke of Somerset whose ancestor, the 6th Duke of Somerset,
was Somerset’s Lord Lieutenant at the time of the battle of Sedgemoor is
a Patron of Somerset Day.
The Dukedom is one of England's oldest and the current Duke is closely involved with the daily management of the Duchy’s west country estates.
He was elected to sit in the House of Lords at the December 2014 House of Lords By-election and regularly attends as a Crossbencher.
Michael Eavis is the founder of the world-famous Glastonbury Festival, held annually on the farm in Pilton where he was born and where he still farms.
After attending Wells Cathedral School, he joined the Merchant Navy. Following his father's death, he took over the family farm in Somerset.
He was awarded the C.B.E. in the 2007 Birthday Honours list for his services to the Glastonbury Festival.
Michael and his family hail from a strong local Non Conformist tradition and he is a practising Methodist.
In 2009 Time Magazine nominated Michael as one of the top 100 most influential people in the world.
He is passionate about his county of birth and his lifelong home – Somerset.
Nigel Muers-Raby is the founder and Chairman of Passion for Somerset,
the organisation behind Somerset Day. He is Consultant Head of
Marketing at Pardoes Solicitors, a regional law firm with offices across
Somerset and Dorset. He is also a Director of Visit Somerset.
Nigel has wide experience at board level, including having held Chairman and Managing Director positions. Other roles have included organising major events and spearheading lobbying at Westminster.
Having worked initially in London but subsequently in Somerset for over 40 years, Nigel is keen to share his passion for Somerset.
Nigel and his wife also run exclusive tours and events at their home, one of Somerset's most Historic Houses, Cothelstone Manor
Kit Chapman is the Proprietor of The Castle at Taunton. He is a
well-known personality on the British hotel and restaurant scene, and as
a bon viveur, writer and television presenter, he has been a vigorous
campaigner for improving culinary standards in this country. He is also
the architect of the hotel’s regular programme of literary and cultural
events, and over the past forty years, he has attracted many of the
world’s greatest chamber music ensembles to play at The Castle for its
annual season of winter weekend festivals.
Kit is also Founder & Executive Director of ArtsTaunton.
In 1989, Kit was appointed MBE in the Queen’s Birthday Honours for his work in hospitality and the tourism industry.
Richard Clothier is Managing Director of Wyke Farms, the largest
independent Cheesemaker in the UK, exporting to over 160 countries
around the world.
Rich is passionate about farming, the environment and branding.
Wyke Farms developed a ground breaking on-site renewable energy plant, which is the cornerstone to the Wyke Farms 100% Green mission and enabled the company to be the first UK grocery brand to be 100% self sufficient in green energy.
The company is now recognised as one of the leading privately owned UK food businesses and employs 250 people directly across three sites and works with 1500 other businesses across the region and nationally.
Jonathan Langdon is Chairman and Founder Partner of Milsted Langdon, a
large regional accountancy practice, and has almost 40 years'
experience of advising a whole range of businesses.
Jonathan is a Governor of Richard Huish College and a Trustee of St Margaret's Hospice, as well as being a board member of Arts Taunton and a former board member of Into Somerset.
Married with 3 grown-up children, Jonathan is a Cornishman by birth, but has lived in Somerset since the age of 19 when he started at Bath University.
She has been a West Somerset resident for over four decades and lives
in Minehead with her husband Stuart and together they have raised three
grown up sons and are grandparents to eight children.
Christine is now a retired company secretary for a Christian charity however has kept busy within her role as a county councillor.
She has previously worked in education, adult social care and health and wellbeing. These environments have given her the insight and knowledge that has underpinned her desire to help Somerset residents where it is most needed and her passion for Somerset.
Denys Rayner is Chair of Trustees of the Lighthouse at Weston, a
charity seeking to bring hope to those in need at Weston Super Mare.
Denys has spent the last twenty years operating at Board level in both large and smaller companies as well as a number of charity and ‘not for profit’ organisations.
He also has significant experience in managing a variety of business units in large financial institutions as well as a period in organisational change-management.
Denys has developed successful strategies for a range of organisations as varied as the business arm of a large bank, a regional law firm, a chamber of commerce and a thriving church.
Chairman of the Somerset WI Federation.