The Countryside Alliance has announced that former head of the UK Field Army, Lieutenant General Sir Barney White-Spunner, is to become its new Executive Chairman.

The appointment of White-Spunner, who is described by the Countryside Alliance as ?a writer and countryman with first-hand knowledge of farming and wide countryside interests?, follows the resignation of chief executive Alice Barnard, who announced in November that she was to leave her role after only 14 months.

Commenting on his appointment, White-Spunner said: ?I owe so much in my life to the countryside and I am now really looking forward to giving something back.?

Shooting Times understands that 54-year-old White-Spunner will become the CA?s public ?face?, leading its hunting and shooting campaigns from the front, and supporting fundraising at race days and shows around the country.

He is certainly a long-term supporter of country sports – a keen Shot and fisherman, he is a regular contributor to The Field, a former editor of Baily?s Hunting Directory and President of the Association of Masters of Harriers and Beagles.

He was knighted in 2011 following a distinguished military career, which involved commanding British forces in the Balkans, Afghanistan and Iraq, and became Commander of the Field Army in 2009.

Countryside Alliance Board Chairman Kate Hoey MP said: ?I am absolutely delighted that Barney is joining us. His leadership will be invaluable in the challenges facing the British countryside.?