The Friends of the Countryside (FCS) represent the custodians of European estates and the traditional industries, patrimony, and heritage in their stewardship. These landowners, entrepreneurs, and decision-makers who compose FCS create a network of like-minded individuals united to promote the interests of their land and livelihood through innovative and sustainable practices. Through the platform of the ELO, Friends of the Countryside are able to ensure that their voice is heard throughout the European Union and beyond.


Covid-19 measures

Belgium is implementing far-reaching measures to contain the further spread of the new coronavirus (Covid-19).

In order to comply with governmental guidelines, we have closed our offices. However, we remain active in order to give maximum support to our member organisations all over Europe. If you would like to reach our staff, please visit the contact page.





Please check the website for the official communication. 

FFA cancelled


 Registration for the 23rd Friends of the Countryside General Assembly in Córdoba is now open. You will be receiving the Registration forms by post and email very shortly. More information about the GA and tours is availlable on our specially conceived website.

Just click on the image here below.

We look forward to seeing you in Córdoba!

Cordoba 2020




Registration for the inaugural FCS Study Tour in Abergavenny, Wales is now open! This smaller in depth study tour of the fertile Usk valley lowlands and rugged uplands of the Black Mountains will explore how to steer a future rural support programme in Wales and in Europe. All members should have received an invitation email with the registration form attached.

For more information, please contact :



Friends of the Countryside UK

London b Feb 13 2020       London a Feb 13 2020      London c Feb 13 2020

Photos courtesy of Seger van Voorst tot Vooorst

FCS President Michael zu Salm-Salm, CEO Thierry de l'Escaille, Vice Presidents Ross Murray and Seger von Voorst tot Voorst along with many UK FCS members joined in London on February 13 at the CLA offices to assure the continuation of Friendship across the Channel.

"Our political journey in the UK has strengthened my own feelings about the importance of maintaining the hand of friendship across the water. So much of our lives as countrymen and women is shared in some way with the continent and also Ireland- whether culturally, economically, climatically orpolitically. And it seems careless to end friendships when they will remain such important aspects of our lives in this small world we live in. I hope you will share this view and may wish to continue in membership of the Friends of the Countryside with all its associations to the ELO, and to enjoy what they both have to offer." Ross Murray, FCS Vice President.

The following day, the FCS contingency were kindly invited by Ralph Abel-Smith to visit Woodhall Estate.

In the same week that both a Wildlife Estate England meeting and a Friends of the Countryside meeting took place in London, my family and I had the pleasure of welcoming a group to the Woodhall Estate in Hertfordshire which is one the first five Accredited Estates in England. The tour took in topical points of interest relating to the environmental and biodiversity initiatives that have contributed to the granting of the Wildlife Estates Accreditation. In particular the party saw the ancient 16th century oak trees standing in the historic parkland and viewed the recently restored lake, river course and weir with keen anticipation of the additional environment and biodiversity that they will now generate, including a new chalk stream. Please see for further information. Ralph Abel-Smith.


Woodhall Estate 2      Woodhall Estate 1



 King Baudouin Foundation

From the King Baudouin Foundation

Registrations have opened from Le Fonds des Amis du Patrimoine Culturel Immobilier (Friends of the Cultural Real Estate Heritage Fund) to present your canditature to provide logistical support to owners of historic buildings accessible to the public. Buildings can be located in Belgium as well as in Europe.

For more information please check the sites : for French or for Flemish. Or contact Isabelle Carpentier at






  The new FCS 2019/2020 Yearbook should have arrived through your letter boxes!  

  Please inform us of any eventual corrections or changes in your contact details by downloading this form and sending it to  






Please find below our first publication from our Databank of Offers and Demands

of Traineeships and Employment on Countryside Estates.

If you have any demands or offers of traineeships and/or employment or can recommend someone,

please send the info to



**Looking for Employment** : **NEW** (November 28, 2019)**

 Virginie Siraut is a member of the YFCS, Next Gen and Demeures Historiques de Belgique. She has a keen interest in historic houses in Belgium and Europe and has professional experience as a Management Assistant as well as in Sales & Marketing. She is looking to develop her knowledge in countryside estate management in Belgium or abroad either with a company or on an estate.

For Virginie's CV please contact




Joris Wiersinga: (born 1987) is searching for employment outside the Netherlands.

Joris was a very good trainee at De Hoge Veluwe National Park. 

Contact: for Joris's full CV


The following International Traineeships/Internships Database are available for children/grand children of our members:


De Hoge Veluwe National Park in the Netherlands offers the following traineeships for students from outside the Netherlands for a period from 1 to 6 months.

Students from all over Europe have previously carried out successful traineeships here. 


Conservation Management department:

Conduct research in September/October on the interaction between ungulates and tree regeneration.

Conduct research in May – July on heath vegetation

Work as an active member of the department


Visitor Management department:

Gain experience in Marketing & Communication, or conduct research in various areas of visitor management.


Hospitality department:

Work in Hospitality Management (operations manager)

Work as a waiter or a waitress, Cooking

At least 2 months with a maximum of 6 months


Staff Services department:

Conduct research in the field of cultural history







Kwint FFA2   It was wonderful to see so many Friends at FFA 2019!  


 "I hope that tomorrow morning you will ask yourself what is possible in your life to make the transition real.

You owe it to the #TheNextGeneration...Change is difficult, change is scary, but change is also vital" @JanezPotocnik22




Contact Us

Friends of the Countryside ASBL

67, Rue de Trèves

B-1040 Brussels


Phone: +32 (0)

Fax: +32 (0)

About us

Friends of the Countryside represents the custodians of European estates and the traditional industries, patrimony, and heritage in their stewardship. 


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