The Countryside Alliance has announced that its Chief Executive Alice Barnard is to quit her role, only fourteen months after her appointment.

34-year-old Barnard, who was previously director of the organisation?s Eastern Region, will take up a new role as the Chief Executive of a leading education charity.

In a statement, she said: ?My five years at the Alliance have been some of the best years of my life, and I would not leave the organisation if I didn?t feel that the opportunity that presented itself to me was not one that I could miss out on.

?I am confident that the organisation will go from strength to strength and I will continue to be a vocal supporter of the Alliance and its aims.?

The Alliance says it will be kept on a ?firm footing? during Barnard?s period of notice, and that activities will continue as normal, ?smoothing the transition to the new Chief Executive?.

Countryside Alliance Chairman Kate Hoey said: ?The whole of the Countryside Alliance board are very sorry to see Alice leave and we wish her well in the exciting opportunity that she is taking up.

?Under her leadership, the Countryside Alliance has been reinvigorated and resourced to continue to push the positive case for the countryside and to fight its many threats.

?Alice leaves the organisation in great shape to continue that fight with a growing membership, a growing strength and a growing conviction. The Board wishes Alice every success with her future endeavours.?