Uptown girl…

Two Cambridge colleges, at either end of The Backs, have recently announced their new ‘Masters’. At the up-town end of the waterway, and said to be the richest per student capita college of all, St John’s, the new Master will be Heather Hancock.

Mrs Hancock has featured in this blog now and again over the years. She once chaired something called the BBC Rural Affairs Committee, on which I sat for a while for the RSPB, which was a talking shop with no power and helped BBC journalists get their heads around environmental issues.

After that, in 2014, but probably because of that, she wrote a cock-eyed report on BBC rural coverage which seemed to be taken seriously for completely unknown reasons.

More recently, since 2016, Mrs Hancock has been Chair of the Foods Standard Agency (and see here) whose advice is for pregnant women and children to avoid meat shot with game and for the rest of us to cut down on our consumption.

It is perhaps worth pointing out that Mrs Hancock and her husband own a grouse moor in the Yorkshire Dales (she was once on the board of the Yorkshire Dales National Park, of course) but she doesn’t seem to have persuaded many grouse shooters to drop lead from our meat.

Any interesting tweed-clad guests at St John’s High table from next October onwards will be of great interest to this blog.

At the other, down-town, end of The Backs, Darwin College has elected an environmentalist as its Master from next autumn; Mike Rands (DPhil on partridges). Mike has been a driving force in Cambridge environmentalism for decades.