The new High Sheriff of Wiltshire: Dr Olivia Chapple

Dr Olivia Chapple, Founder of Horatio’s Garden to be officially appointed as the new High Sheriff of Wiltshire.

Dr Olivia Chapple, founder of Horatio's Garden

The Office of High Sheriff is an independent non-political Royal appointment for a single year. The origins of the Office date back to Saxon times, when the ‘Shire Reeve’ was responsible to the king for the maintenance of law and order within the shire, or county, and for the collection and return of taxes due to the Crown.

Today, there are 55 High Sheriffs serving the counties of England and Wales each year. They receive no remuneration or expenses from public funds for their duties.

The High Sheriff is the Sovereign’s representative in the County for matters of law and order and the judiciary and consequently takes an active interest in the administration of justice. While the duties of the role have evolved over time, supporting the Crown and the judiciary remains central to the role.

Each High Sheriff will approach their year slightly differently depending on their particular skills, experience and their own areas of interest. For her designated year, Dr. Olivia Chapple has said that she is going to focus on connecting people with nature.

The feathers for the ceremonial outfit that Olivia will be wearing at the appointment ceremony on Friday have been sourced by the Great Bustard Group – the charity dedicated to saving the Great Bustard. The Great Bustard is at risk of extinction and classed as Vulnerable on the IUCN Red List of Globally Threatened Species as there are fewer than 35,000 left in the wild. Chapple’s feathers were donated by ‘Fergus’ – the great bustard responsible for the reintroduction of bustards to Salisbury Plain.

To keep up with Olivia’s activities as High Sheriff, follow her at @highsheriffofwiltshire.