Tom Holme, chair of the Campaign to protect rural Essex

PUBLISHED: 17:28 12 April 2010 | UPDATED: 17:02 20 February 2013

Tom Holme

Tom Holme

Environmental campaigner Tom Holme shares thoughts on his varied collection of pets and the relaxing pleasures of tree planting

Rural affairs

Tell us about your family
I am married to Pippa and we have four children: David, 19, Henry, 17, Poppy, 16, and Simon, 12.

Do you have any pets?
Amber, who is three-quarters fox red labrador and one-quarter Hungarian Vizler; three generations of Jack Russells; eight ewes and a ram; a saddleback boar and a large black sow; four hens and a guinea pig.

How old are you? 51

Where do you live?
I have lived in The Old Rectory at Aldham for most of my life. My late parents, Tony and Penny, bought our home from the church in 1956. At that time, larger houses were not popular because of the cost of their upkeep.

What do you like about where you live?
Aldham is a special place because we are a proper community. The church and the village hall are at the heart of the village and of village life. Our roots are deep and we try to help each other.

What do you do for a living?
Im an environmental campaigning, but I also work in the financial services and business investing.

What do you love about your job?
All the time I dont spend in the office and the opportunity this gives me to get to meet and know other environmental campaigners and influencers.

What has been the proudest moment in your career so far?
An amicable departure after 20 years with a financial services firm, which gave me the opportunity to reconnect with the things in life which really matter.

Where do you see yourself in five years time?
I would like to be able to look back with pride on my term as chair of the Campaign to Protect Rural Essex, having increased our profile and our membership, and supported some successful campaigning.

What are your hobbies?
My enjoyment of any days game shooting is in meeting other people and celebrating a day in the country.

How do you relax?
As the years pass, I have found I am increasingly obsessed by trees and tree planting, to the extent that now I cannot let a winter pass without some tree planting.

Do you have any hidden talents?
I have a fund of obscure knowledge, which sometimes manifests itself in being able to answer quiz questions unexpectedly.

What is your worst habit?
Talking rather than doing and spending too much time in my office at home known to my children as my hutch.

What is your favourite song or piece of music and why?
Elgars Cello Concerto is an elegiac and heart-rending lament for a country-based way of life which was profoundly shattered by World War I and nearly a century of subsequent appalling environmental destruction.

Where are the best views to be had in Essex?
The Colne Valley is an overlooked gem. Start at Cooks Mill and walk along the Colne towards Ford Street. There is so much ordinary landscape in Essex which is special and unique in an understated way. Enjoy it while you can.

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