Leanne Graves has been awarded the Talbot Ponsonby prize, given by the Royal Agricultural Society of England for top marks in the Central Association of Agricultural Valuers (CAAV) exams.

Graves, who works at H&H Land & Estates based in Carlisle, Cumbria, said she was delighted to have won the prize.

“It is recognition of a high standard of knowledge gained in getting to this stage to enable me to pass these exams and create the foundation of my career."

She plans to do general practice and has a particular interest in access and rights over land and compulsory purchase connected with major infrastructure projects.

“It is a highly interesting time to be a recently qualified surveyor [she has just gained MRICS].

"There is a lot of change moving forward. We must tackle it head on and do our best to advise our clients,” said Graves.

Runner-up in the Talbot Ponsonby prize is Emma Greig, based in Lutterworth, Leicestershire, who runs Jarrom Rural Services.

“It is an honour to have got as far as runner-up,” she said. “It has taken a lot of time but being self-employed means I’ve been able to flex around work, farm and family commitments.”

It is 20 years since Greig gained MRICS. She was persuaded by a friend to do the CAAV exams and has already been approached about running online tutorials.

Out of an entry of 107 candidates, fewer because of the pandemic, 75 qualified for fellowship in the 2021 exams.