Ralph Assheton named next high sheriff of Lancashire

The Honourable Ralph C Assheton has been named as the new high sheriff of Lancashire, taking over the role from Tony Attard.

Ralph is the founder and director of Bowland Bioenergy and chairman of Pendle Hill Landscape Partnership.

He gained a diploma in rural estate management and worked as a chartered surveyor in Berkshire and Lancashire, before joining the Territorial Army in 1987.

His military career includes serving with the Life Guards in Saudi Arabia in the first Gulf War and Operation Banner in Ulster. He also led his regiment's Wigan Squadron and then commanded the Royal Mercian and Lancastrian Yeomanry regiment from 2005 to 2007.

As the new high sheriff, he will be sworn in at a special ceremony on April 5.

Each year, The Queen personally appoints the high sheriff of Lancashire, a role which has existed for more than 1,000 years.

It is my intention to encourage and to support many voluntary groups.

Ralph said: "To become High Sheriff of Lancashire is a great honour for me. In my year of responsibility I will endeavour to work closely with the police, the judiciary and our emergency services. It is also my intention to encourage and to support the many voluntary groups who work tirelessly to create positive and lasting relationships with all of Lancashire’s diverse cultures and religious groups."

The role of high sheriff includes a duty to 'protect and assist in upholding the dignity and wellbeing of Her Majesty’s Judges and to project the principles of encouraging responsible citizenship and respect for the diversity of the community which lie at the heart of our Constitution'.

The office of High Sheriff is an unpaid and voluntary role.