LAWRENCE ALDERSON came into the international arena from a small family farm in the North Yorkshire Dales 

NEW: Biography: published 2019 (see Books page)

Lawrence Alderson CBE MA(Cantab) CBiol FRBI FRAgS MSB  
Lawrence Alderson was born in the high Pennines in North Yorkshire where he grew up in an area that embraced the special values of rural Britain with spectacular landscape, native wildlife and hardy locally-adapted livestock in a testing environment. His farming ancestors had populated Swaledale, Stainmore (Yorkshire / Westmorland) and Teesdale since the Norse Vikings arrived via Dublin and the Lake District and occupied of that region of the Pennines. He farmed in different areas of England with a particular interest in heritage livestock, but he also created a new breed, British Milksheep, which was exported to several companies. At Cambridge University, where he was President of Cambridge University Agricultural Society, he read for a degree in agricultural science and continued post-graduate studies in education and genetics before developing his business as an International Consultant specialising in biodiversity and genetic conservation, for which he was created CBE.

He was Founder, Scientific Consultant, Executive Director, Chairman and International Ambassador of RBST bwtween 1969 and 2012. He helped to establish national non-governmental organisations for endangered breeds in several countries, and was Founder President of Rare Breeds International in 1989. He is a leading international authority on genetic conservation. He combines scientific rigour with prectical experience and Michael Willis, a renowned champion of endangered breeds, recognised the value of his contribution: "Lawrence Alderson is the David Attenborough of international rare breed conservation and his work and writing have been a guidung light to so many people and organisations throughout the world".

He advocates systems of land use which both enhance ecological sustainability and respect integrity of the environment. He was a leading figure in the 'Grazing Animal Partnership' wherein he promoted the value of non-intensive grasslands as an essential link between healthy soil and locally-adapted grazing livestock. He understands that maintenance of ecological stability is the key to sustainable life on Earth.

Senior positions held                                                                                            

He was Chairman of CLL (Countrywide Livestock Ltd) from its formation until 2020. He has been President of the White Park Cattle Society since 1988, Trustee and Founder President of Rare Breeds International from 1991 to 2018, and Principal of LIS since 2002.

Formerly he held office in RBST as Chairman (2003-2007), Executive Director (1990-2000) and Technical (Scientific) Consultant (1973-1990), and was a member of Defra's UK National Steering Committee on Farm Animal Genetic Resources (FAnGR) (2003-2006). A fuller list of the positions he has held is shown below.


He has long experience in the fields of genetics and animal breeding, animal genetic resources and sustainable agriculture. 
He has judged livestock at most of the major Shows in the UK, including at Harrogate (Great Yorkshire), Builth Wells (Royal Welsh), Balmoral (Royal Ulster) and Stoneleigh.
He is an international authority on the genetic conservation of domestic livestock, and the founder or co-founder of several national 'rare breeds' organisations. 
He has long experience of working with governments, inter-governmental and non-governmental organisations, and has been an invited plenary speaker at numerous international congresses. 
He is the author and/or editor of several books, including the standard work on genetic conservation, and of many scientific and technical papers.

Main positions held:
AGRI Editorial Board (FAO); Biotechnology for Biodiversity Platform (Europe); British Angora Goat Society (Vice-Chairman); British Caspian Horse Trust (Trustee); British Milksheep Society (Chairman); British Spotted Pony Society (President); Combined Flock Book (Chairman); EEC study on endangered pig breeds (Leader); EEC study on endangered domestic ruminants; European Livestock Association (Council); Grazing Animals Partnership (Council); International Caspian Society (Chairman); Kelmscott Rare Breeds Foundation (USA) (Director); LIS (Principal); National Cattle Association (Council); National Sheep Association (Council); National Consultative Committee (Defra); National Steering Committee for FAnGR (Defra); Ovine Semen Archive (Chairman); PigBioDiv Management Board (Europe) (Chairman); RBST (Founder, Scientific Consultant, Executive Director, Chairman, International Ambassador); Rare Breeds International (Founding President and Trustee); RAgS (Fellow); Semen Archive Management Board of NSP (Defra); Society of Biology (Chartered Biologist);The Ark (Editor); Traditional Breeds Meat Marketing Scheme (Chairman); Traditional Livestock Foundation (Trustee); Westdown Lamb Ltd (Director); Westwater Farm Partners (Chairman); White Park Cattle Society (Chairman); White Park Cattle Society (President)