New year honour for John

John Varley, estates director of Clinton Devon Estates.

John Varley, estates director of Clinton Devon Estates. - Credit: © Guy Newman - 07831 379971

A leading member of the Clinton Devon Estates team says he was shocked to find his name on the Queen’s New Year Honours list. John Varley, estates director, received an OBE for his services to agriculture, the environment and the rural community.

The Newton Poppleford resident has served on a number of government committees, including the Wildlife Network Review and the Independent Forestry Panel.

He worked on the Lawton Review’s ‘Making Space For Nature’, which was instrumental in influencing the Government’s environment white paper.

Mr Varley said: “I was totally shocked. I wasn’t sure if it was a joke - it was a very brief letter.

“I didn’t do anything with it for 24 hours.”

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The father-of-three undertook a career change when he left a senior management role at BT to work at Clinton Devon Estates in 2000.

He said his success was due to the support of his team and his family - wife Becky and children Helena, Rosie and Tom.

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Mr Varley added: “It is an honour to be recognised in this way and I know this is also recognition of the tremendous efforts of a group of very special people.

“I have also been very fortunate to work with an incredible team of dedicated professionals, completely focused on doing things better, innovating and ensuring that we hand over to the next generation of people living and working in Devon, something even more valuable than we were given.”

Mr Varley received the Territorial Decoration [TD] in 1991 after 22 years of service in the Territorial Army.

He held the rank as an artillery officer in the Hertfordshire and Bedfordshire Yeomanry.

“I’m very proud of it [the TD]. The OBE tops this,” said Mr Varley.

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