The Honourable Ralph C. Assheton TD DL has been appointed the new High Sheriff of Lancashire.
The founder and director of Bowland Bioenergy Ltd and chairman of Pendle Hill Landscape Partnership, Mr Assheton gained a diploma in Rural Estate Management from the Royal Agricultural College, Cirencester, before qualifying as a Chartered Surveyor working in Berkshire and Lancashire.
A military career then followed with Mr Assheton joining the Territorial Army in 1987. He was commissioned as an officer the following year.
Mr Assheton’s military career included serving with the Life Guards in Saudi Arabia in the first Gulf War and Operation Banner in Ulster.
He also led his regiment’s Wigan Squadron and then commanded the Royal Mercian and Lancastrian Yeomanry regiment from 2005 to 2007.
As the new High Sheriff, Mr Assheton will be sworn in at a special ceremony on Friday, April 5th, when he takes over the office from the incumbent High Sheriff, Anthony Attard OBE DL.
Each year HM The Queen personally appoints the High Sheriff of Lancashire – a role dating back more than 1,000 years.
Speaking on his appointment, Mr Assheton said: “To become High Sheriff of Lancashire is a great honour for me.
“In my year of responsibility I will endeavour to work closely with the police, the judiciary and our emergency services.
“It is also my intention to encourage and to support the many voluntary groups who work tirelessly to create positive and lasting relationships with all of Lancashire’s diverse cultures and religious groups.”
Mr Assheton, who lives at Downham Hall with his wife Olivia and their two children – Ralph Anthony (20) and Helen (17) – splits his time between Bowland Bioenergy Ltd and looking after Downham Estate.
Mr Assheton is also a board member of the North Lancashire Local Action Group for EU RDPE grant decisions, a trustee of DLOY Trust and Regimental Museum and president of the Bowland Game Fishing Association.
Mr Assheton regularly works with the Ribble Rivers Trust and carries out a number of wildlife surveys around Downham.
His hobbies include gardening, campanology (bellringing) as well as Morris and Scottish country dancing. He particularly enjoys embarrassing his family with his eclectic musical tastes and traditional dress sense.
The role of High Sheriff includes a duty to “protect and assist in upholding the dignity and well being of Her Majesty’s Judges and to project the principles of encouraging responsible citizenship and respect for the diversity of the community which lie at the heart of our Constitution”.
The office of High Sheriff is an unpaid and voluntary role.