Development Board

Our Development Board is made up of subject matter experts, some of whom are associated with the process of transition from military to civilian life and others who have a wide knowledge of rural industries.

We are delighted that Jon Perkins has agreed to chair the Development Board to provide a link to the Board of Trustees. You can see his bio here.

Rhodri Atkins

Rhodri is the Lead Implementation and Success Manager for Axon (formally Taser International) in the UK, working predominantly with Police Forces in the UK and Europe to help them enhance their capability though the use of integrated technology.

He studied Tourism and Hospitality Management at the University of Gloucestershire before commissioning in to the Royal Artillery in 2003. He completed tours of Iraq in 2005 and Afghanistan in 2006 and 2009. He retired as a Captain in 2012 after working for the Commander Royal Artillery within HQ 3rd (UK) Division.

Upon leaving the Army Rhodri worked within the major event planning sector, participating in the London 2012 Olympics, Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games and Baku 2015, 1st European Games. He also worked on a number of mass participation events such as the London Marathon, Prudential Ride London, as well as large spectator events alongside Formula 1 in Abu Dhabi, the RFU and Jockey Club.

He now lives in Northumberland with his wife and daughter on their smallholding and his interests include field sports, golf and sailing.


Jim spent thirty years working in the Built Environment, mostly as a Chartered Building Surveyor.  In 2009 he moved “up north” to Glasgow.  He now “preaches” what he once practiced, at Glasgow Caledonian University, (GCU).

In 2013, Jim instigated a project to maximise the potential of those who have served, irrespective of rank, branch or length of service. Inevitably the project has grown many legs, both in supporting Veterans and liaison with all sectors of the military family. His current roles include; Chairman of the HEFE (Higher and Further Education) Veterans Champions’ Network; Veterans and Armed Forces Champion for GCU; Member of Lowland RFCA; Vice-Chairman of Glasgow and Strathclyde Universities Military Education Committee (MEC), Executive Member of COMEC (UK Council of MECs); Member of Firm Base Steering Group for Scotland; Member of the Veterans and Armed Forces Cross Party Group for the Scottish Parliament; and of course, HighGround Development Board.

With a tiny population set against huge tracts of land (and water), Jim sees Scotland as ideal HighGround territory. Jim lives in Helensburgh, (with excellent views of the comings and goings from HM Naval Base Clyde).

Zoe Elliott

Zoe has worked in the racing industry for 20 years and is currently the Head of Careers Marketing & Recruitment at the British Horseracing Authority (BHA), leading the Careers Marketing Strategy for the horseracing industry via the ‘careersinracing’ brand and marketing campaigns. Graduating from Coventry University in 1996 with an Equine Business Degree and subsequently a Post Graduate Diploma in Marketing, she started her career in racing at the BHA running marketing campaigns from Racehorse Ownership Marketing to ‘Racegoer’ marketing. Zoe then spent ten years as a freelance consultant working for a variety of racing governing bodies, trade associations, charities and commercial organisations handling a wide range of marketing projects, before returning to the BHA in her current role. Having competed across a number equestrian of disciplines in her spare time and generally being involved with horses since childhood she has many contacts across a range of equestrianism beyond horseracing and is passionate about communicating the opportunities to work in this sector from every angle from, groundsman and gardeners to event logistics to broadcast engineers!

Tim Green

Tim has been able to take a planned  early retirement from a career in the development and manufacturing of industrial and construction equipment. He has spent the last 24 years working for Caterpillar, based at the Leicester facility; with them he has served in a number of senior positions in UK, with extensive global travel. His most recent position was Global Engineering & Sourcing Manager, he was responsible for the systems engineering and over $1B category purchasing spend for their construction equipment, supporting manufacturing facilities in the UK, USA, Brazil, China, India and Japan. He led a team of over 250 people globally located, which has given him a strong perspective on leadership, business acumen and accountability. In addition he also served as General Manager for the small transmission business unit with a sales turnover $85M, responsible for the product development, manufacturing and sales, turning it around from a loss making business to profitability in two years. Previous to this he has held a number of positions with Caterpillar including Engineering Director, Purchasing Manager and Programme Manager, which again gives him a very good perspective on running a major global business.

Tim has a strong outdoor upbringing, coming from a long line of farming families, originally growing up in Herefordshire on his father’s farm, from this he went on to study Agricultural Engineering at university. He has always enjoyed being outdoors and sport, playing both football and rugby at junior levels, he is a keen follower of Leicester Tigers rugby. Today he tries to keep himself fit, being a keen road cyclist around the lanes of Leicestershire on Sunday mornings. He enjoys country life including clay pigeon shooting, occasional game shooting and general wildlife watching. At home he spends a lot of time in the garden and the garage, doing most of the jobs around the house as time has allowed him. In the house, he enjoys reading current affairs, literature and factual materials, with a strong interest in British history.

He also served on the management board Construction Equipment Association, is the UK trade association for construction equipment manufacturers, such as CAT, JCB, Volvo etc. Also previously he was Chairman of Governors at the local high school for 3 years, where he was responsibility for a Headmaster recruitment and overseeing a school of 700 pupils.

He is married to Clare, a Community Nurse Specialist and serving magistrate, with whom he has two grown up daughters Laura and Sara. Today he lives, with Clare and Sara in a small village near the town of Ashby-de-la-Zouch, with their lively working cocker spaniel Albie.

In retirement he hopes to stay fit and healthy, continue to be mentally stimulated and have time for family, travel and other good causes.

View Tim Green’s profile on LinkedIn.

Robert Honan

Geraint Richards

After studying Forestry at University in Bangor, Geraint spent four years working for the Forestry Commission in the Weald Forest District. He took up his current post, as Head Forester for the Duchy of Cornwall, in 1996 and his role now includes the management of all the woodlands and forests across the Duchy’s estate plus considerable involvement in a number of forestry-related initiatives and organisations. In recent years Geraint has become involved in promoting learning and development in the forestry (and wider land-based) sector; he works closely with many organisations including the Forestry Commission, the Institute of Chartered Foresters, the Royal Forestry Society, Scottish Land & Estates and The Prince’s Trust, to name but a few. Geraint also has a strong connection with the Canadian Institute of Forestry, of which he is an honorary lifetime member.

Chris Shepherd

Chris works closely with HighGround in co-ordinating the delivery and content of Rural Weeks run out of Bicton College.

Chris has worked in education for 28 years since graduating in 1991 from Seale Hayne Agriculture College in Newton Abbot, Devon. He has always had a passion for the land based sector with his mother being from a farming family and his father a Veterinary Surgeon. During his career within the Cornwall College Group, incorporating Bicton College and Duchy College, he has lectured in Agriculture and Farm Business management. In his role as Work Based Learning Manager he was responsible for the College’s delivery of Apprenticeship programmes across the Land Based Sector. Main accomplishments include, achieving a Grade 1 Outstanding award across all Work Based Learning Measures in the OFSTED inspection of May 2010, representing Landex (association of Land Based Colleges across the UK) on the employer management group in developing the new Apprenticeship standards, and having a strong record of  designing training and education programmes with employers across the sector.

Chris and his wife Angela have recently celebrated their 25th Wedding Anniversary.  They live in West Cornwall and have two sons, Robert 18 and Daniel 16. Hobbies include gardening and walking with Bailey the labrador.

Simon West OBE

An outdoorsman at heart, Simon spent his early years camping, mountain climbing, riding horses, hunting and studying Zoology at Royal Holloway College.

His career in the Army involved many more nights under canvas across the world with tours in Belize, Northern Ireland, Bosnia, Afghanistan, the Falklands and  most recently a fascinating time living in Latvia with travel across Eastern Europe. He specialised in gun technology and strategic communication.

Simon is now the Executive Director of the Gun Trade Association providing UK registered firearms dealers support in promoting, protecting and representing the industry. He is also the Chairman of the Worshipful Company of Gunmakers’ Certification Panel, examining the work of apprentices in the craft of gunmaking.

A keen open water swimmer, game fisherman and shot, he is a member of a small walked-up shoot and a MOD deer manager. He runs his own gun making business specialising in bronze cannon.


The following subject areas will be represented on the Development Board:

Assistance Dogs
Countryside & Environment
Career Transition Partnership
Fishing & Country Sports
Land Based Work Experience
Military Charity Liaison
Bicton College/Rural Weeks
Professional Career Development Inc Standards & Quality as well as Work Experience
Rural Skills Training
Viticulture & Cider Making