CAAV ready to embrace the future

The Central Association of Agricultural Valuers (CAAV) is well placed to lead the industry through future change and challenges after investing its latest president, David Brooks.

With a career spanning over 30 years, Mr Brooks has vast experience in agricultural valuation and rural surveying across East Anglia. As a past president of the Essex Association of Agricultural Valuers, a Fellow of the CAAV and a Recognised European Valuer, he is well-established in the industry.

“I’d like to focus on the need for us as valuers to embrace future skills and sell our attributes to other professionals,” said Mr Brooks at the recent AGM in Shrewsbury. “We know a huge amount about an extraordinarily varied range of topics: We need to promote ourselves as the lead in most situations – with both specialist and a wide breadth of knowledge.

“I intend to do my very best to bring this association forward. We are embracing change and with this comes an opportunity not just for ourselves, but also for our clients.”

The position of senior vice president goes to Andrew Thomas, at Herbert R Thomas, South Wales, who will be supporting Mr Brooks throughout his year-long term, before taking over from him in 2020. “The Association is in good health and we have a vibrant membership,” said Mr Thomas. “I look forward to serving it to the best of my ability.”

Taking on the role of junior vice president is Andrew Coney. A partner at P Wilson and Company, based in Preston, Lancashire, Mr Coney has been previously been president of the Lancashire Agricultural Valuers’ Association and has been the CAAV Northern Group chairman. “I am delighted to be elected. I will do my very best to represent and develop this wonderful organisation.”

While the older and experienced generation took on new roles within the presidential team, the younger generation were welcomed into the fold following exams to become a CAAV Fellow. Scoring the highest marks was Simon Wells at Armitstead Barnett, Lancashire, earning him the prestigious RASE Talbot Ponsonby award.

Mr Wells has an extensive background in farming, with relatives farming in Lancashire and his father being estate foreman on the Whitewell Estate. “This is where my interest in rural property came from,” he said.

A keen member of Slaidburn Young Farmers Club, Mr Wells has taken part in sporting events, stock judging and quiz competitions, and has held the role of club treasurer and vice chairman. He joined Armitstead Barnett in September 2016 after graduating from Harper Adams University with a first class honours degree in Rural Enterprise and Land Management. “Every week I learn something new and it helps keep everything interesting,” he said.

“It was a massive relief just to pass the exam,  as I felt like the CAAV exams were the culmination of over six years’ work. When the results came in I was obviously very pleased, as all the time, effort and hard work had paid off.”

Taking second place was Coral Little, a graduate from Cirencester University working at Bidwells, Oxfordshire. She is now part of its Specialist Services team, focusing on valuation and compulsory purchase and successfully undertook her CAAV exams at the end of 2018.

“The exam was every bit as intense as I had expected but achieving Fellowship to an association that vests so much time and effort back into the industry made all of the hard work worthwhile,” she said. “I was delighted to be announced as runner-up and look forward to working in such a supportive industry in the future.”

For more information visit