The Office of High Sheriff is an independent non-political Royal appointment. It is a voluntary, totally self-funded role and the term of office is for 12 months with the new High Sheriff declared each year in March or April. There are 55 High Sheriffs, one in every county in England and Wales.

Mrs Joanna Hilditch DL

Born in Lyonshall, one of four children of Richard and Julia Green, I spent my primary school years in Eardisland and Kington and secondary at boarding school. I never expected to come back to the family home as my younger brother Johnny was destined to succeed my father on the farm. Sadly our fates were changed as he died in a car accident in South Africa in 1993, so just married, we returned to Lyonshall where I took over the farming business.

Prior to returning to the farm, I worked in London for 10 years as a dressmaker, entrepreneur and then in PR and Marketing. I was lucky enough to travel the world working on boats in the Caribbean, live and work in Australia and see far flung places from Machu Picchu to the Buddhist temple at Borubudor and the outskirts of the Great Barrier Reef. Oh to travel again!

Ian (aka Gio) has played the non-traditional role of farmer’s husband, meanwhile setting up ETL Systems who design and manufacture RF (Radio Frequency) distribution equipment. We have three children (Willa, Hannah and Johnny) who are now in their early 20s and have fled the nest to bigger cities following university.

Since returning to Herefordshire I have thrown myself into growing and diversifying our farming business as well as turning historic buildings into upmarket holiday lets, and making a delicious blackcurrant liqueur now the national go-to British Cassis! I am also passionate about Herefordshire as a tourist destination and am currently chairing the Visit Herefordshire postcovid tourism initiative as well as the Herefordshire Agricultural Club.

Other interests in Herefordshire have been around business, tourism, education and agriculture and my Shrieval year will give me a platform to further promote the county and listen to its people. Following the year of the virus I think there will be mental health shrapnel where I hope to contribute something to our overall recovery, specifically supporting mental health in agriculture and young people.

As a fourth generation Green family High Sheriff of Herefordshire (1889 – Richard; 1925 – Lionel; 1981 – Richard), I am particularly honoured by the appointment and to spend a year in the service of Her Majesty The Queen. I feel for Patricia, who despite a very difficult year, has risen to the challenge, been in the vanguard of pandemic resourcefulness and leaves a great legacy to the youth of the county. I very much hope that as spring turns to summer we will reclaim our lives, my year will be more ‘normal’ and I can build on some of these initiatives.