Hestercombe's gardens are now open for visits 7 days a week ~ but you must book a ticket online before you travel. Read our updated opening information
Sir Andrew Burns KCMG chaired Hestercombe Gardens Trust from 2004 to 2020, and under his tenure of the chairmanship Hestercombe enjoyed numerous successes. These included: the restoration of Mill and Barn in 2010; the acquisition of Hestercombe House in 2013 from Somerset County Council and the subsequent opening of Hestercombe Gallery and residency by the Guildhall School of Music and Drama’s Centre for Young Musicians; and the historic acquisition of 320 acres of the former Hestercombe estate in 2018.
The role of Chair of the Board of Trustees was handed over by Sir Andrew to David Yiend on Friday 4th December 2020. David Yiend is an entrepreneurial, internationally focused CEO of AB Agri who has built successful businesses within the agri food industry.
Sir Andrew Burns commented on his tenure at Hestercombe Gardens Board of Trustees,
“I have been deeply honoured to chair Hestercombe Gardens Trust for so many years and to have worked with such supportive trustees and such talented and enthusiastic members of staff. It has in particular been a tremendous joy to work with our Chief Executive,Philip White MBE, without whose inspirational leadership, bold determination and clarity of vision we could not have achieved so much. Together we have transformed Hestercombe into a cultural and heritage site of national importance and international reputation. And we have opened up our gardens and landscape for the well-being and enjoyment of the people of Somerset and our visitors from further afield.”
Philip White MBE added,
“Hestercombe owes a huge debt to Sir Andrew for his support and commitment over the last sixteen years. His tenure has seen the dramatic development of Hestercombe to become a nationally important heritage site with over 100,000 visitors a year. I have greatly valued his input on many occasions when fulfilling our ambitious vision to restore the estate but particularly through this last difficult year.”
Sir Andrew Burns KCMG & Philip White MBE with the deeds to Hestercombe House, October 2013
In addition to his chairmanship of Hestercombe Gardens Trust, an independent charity, Sir Andrew Burns KCMG has been Chair of the Bar Standards Board, the regulator of barristers in England and Wales; the Council of Royal Holloway, University of London; and the national Committee of University Chairs. He was a Governor of the Guildhall School of Music and Drama and International Governor of the BBC.
A career diplomat since 1965, with early service in India, Romania and the United States, he was British Ambassador to Israel from 1992-1995, Deputy Under Secretary of State at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office from 1995 to 1997, British Consul-General in Hong Kong and Macau from 1997-2000 and British High Commissioner to Canada from 2000-2003.
From 2010 to 2015 he was the United Kingdom Envoy for Post-Holocaust Issues and remains a strategic adviser to the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA).
Under David Yiend’s leadership, AB Agri has developed from a UK centric business of 35 people and £70m turnover to a business of 3,000 people, a £2.5 billion turnover, operating on a global scale, with investments and customer reach spanning the food supply chain. A passionate believer in UK farming, and lover of the British countryside, Yiend was formerly Chairman of Prince’s Countryside Fund Rural Action Group, Bright Crop, Frontier and Agricultural Industries Confederation (AIC).
Married with three grown up children, David lives in Somerset and is an enthusiastic horse rider. He constantly encourages and helps organisations under his responsibility to adapt, change, develop and move forward with purpose and passion coupled with a strong and ethical values framework.
For any press requests and for more information, please contact Chris White, Marketing & Communications Manager, Hestercombe Gardens.
Over the last 30 years Hestercombe’s historic landscape and its unique, world famous gardens have been lovingly restored.
However, Hestercombe’s closure due to the Covid-19 pandemic has had a devastating impact on Hestercombe Gardens Trust’s finances. We’re an independent charity without the safety net of larger organisations, and we must now raise substantial funds to ensure Hestercombe continues to thrive and to help secure its magnificent heritage for future generations.
We would be incredibly grateful for any donation that you are able to give. Thank you.
If you are a UK taxpayer and you select ‘Please Gift Aid this donation’, the UK Government will give Hestercombe Gardens Trust an additional contribution of 25% at no extra cost to you.
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