It is with great sadness that we report the untimely death of well-known Essex farmer and NFU Legal Board Vice Chairman Tim Sell on Friday 8 February.
Tim was an active and hugely respected member of the Essex farming community, having been a vice president of Essex Young Farmers Club, chairman of the Essex Beef Group and NFU Essex county chairman in 2004.
His commitment to the NFU continued as he was elected vice chairman of the NFU's Legal Board in 2014.
Tim was immensely proud of the achievements of the NFU's Legal Assistance Scheme and helped celebrate its 30th anniversary in 2018.
The work of the Board exemplified Tim’s practical and pragmatic approach to helping people and he worked tirelessly through the detailed legal papers to ensure his fellow farmers were treated with fairness and received justice.
Legal Board Chairman Trevor Foss said: "Tim and I joined the Legal Board at the same time in 2008 and he was due to take over from me as chairman this year. I cannot find the words to express how much he will be missed.
"Always cheerful and good company, he was very well respected by all who met him.
"It has been my privilege to work alongside him on the Legal Board and also to become very good friends during that time. We will all miss him."
Tim's family have farmed at Marsh Farm on the Thames Estuary near Basildon for over a century, witnessing many changes in both the farming landscape and the surrounding countryside.
Tim’s interest in history was fanned by the many anti-aircraft installations on the farm, set up to protect London from the Luftwaffe, and the changes that occurred in and around Basildon. New communities were established in the area and additional infrastructure and roads dissected the landscape.
Throughout this, Tim maintained mixed farming at the heart of his farming operation, including arable, livestock, contracting and more recently an AD plant to utilise the livestock waste and silage produced.
Tim featured among NFU case studies promoting sustainable livestock production and Marsh Farm recently hosted Secretary of State Michael Gove to make the case for productive family farms.
NFU Essex County Adviser Adam Scott said: “Tim was unquestionably a larger than life character who put all he met at ease and brought a smile to their face.
“One of Tim’s many qualities was as a true family man and it is to his wife Sarah, their four children - daughter Rosie and sons Alex, Andrew and Ben - and their five grandchildren that we extend our greatest sympathy at this difficult time.”
Funeral details will be circulated when they are available.