A former BBC presenter has been sacked from the charity he founded after trustees accused him of failing to observe standards of governance and damaging the charity’s reputation.
In March, a war of words broke out between Robin Page, founder of the Countryside Restoration Trust and a former presenter of the BBC sheepdog trials programme One Man and His Dog, and the charity's trustees.
Page claimed he was being "bullied out" of the charity, which he started with one farm in 1993, by a “group of greedy elderly men” who wanted to take the charity away from its members.
The charity, which has since grown to manage 18 properties around the UK, denied this was the case.
It said Page's role as executive chair was being concluded on legal advice, but he had been invited to continue as a trustee.
In a statement on its website yesterday, the charity said it had passed a resolution to remove Page as a company member with immediate effect.
“This follows repeated public criticism of strategic decisions taken by the charity, including those he had supported as a trustee, and his failure to observe standards of governance required of a CRT trustee," it said.
“By doing so, he has damaged the charity’s reputation and, despite extensive efforts to work constructively with Robin, the trustees have reluctantly concluded that the relationship has broken down irretrievably.”
The charity said it was in the process of reforming its organisational structure to help manage growth under a strengthened senior management team, and thanked Page for his many years of dedication.
“We are confident that the plans we have for its future growth will be in keeping with his vision to create a working countryside, where sensitive farming practices encourage and protect wildlife but also produce high-quality produce,” the charity said.
Page did not respond to a request for comment, but appeared to acknowledge the news on social media.
In a tweet he said: “The CRT website – about me – in my view lie, after lie after lie.
“They are thick too – they threw me out three weeks after I had left.
"About normal for that band of nodding donkeys.”