THE former chairman of the Hoburne Group, John Burry, has died at the age of 88.
He also devoted many years of his life to working for the good of the New Forest and was Official Verderer for six years.
He founded the New Forest Livestock Society in 2002 and was a tireless campaigner for improvement to the welfare of animals roaming the Forest.
In 1999 he was made an MBE for his service to the community shortly after stepping down as head of the verderers.
John was the grandson of John Burry Snr who founded the holiday company when he purchased Hubborn Farm at Highcliffe in 1912.
Over the following decades its Naish and Bashley parks were opened and, despite growing competition from cheap package holidays abroad, the group continued to flourish.
With John at the helm more parks around the country were bought and upgraded, and its sister company Hoburne Developments built hundreds of new homes.
He handed over the reins of Hoburne Ltd to daughter Rosie in 2002 but remained a non-executive director.
Hoburne’s managing director Rod Tucker said: “John was an inspiration to everyone at Hoburne and the wider tourism industry. The Hoburne Group was such a huge part of his life and he was respected enormously within the local community.
“His contribution to the growth and success of the business is immeasurable. He embodied the brand values and we will continue to uphold those values to ensure Hoburne’s continued success and honour John’s memory.
“John will be missed by his family, his Hoburne family, and all whose lives he touched. He will always live on as the driving force behind Hoburne’s success.
“Our thoughts and deepest condolences are with his immediate family.”
John also served as a Deputy Lieutenant of Hampshire and was joint president of the New Forest show with his second wife Angela whom he married in 1975.
She was the widow of John Edgar, a well-known farmer in the area who set up Edgar dairies in Milford.
Angela had been only 36 when her first husband died and was left to care for three children and a large farm.
John had four children of his own and the couple set up home in Sway, often joking they were like the Von Trapp family from the Sound of Music.
The couple shared a passion for horse riding which they did together in the New Forest.
Angela died in 2016.
Apart from his business interests John had many hobbies including gardening. He was an avid member of the Growmore Club and South Avon and Stour Agricultural Society. John also liked to fish and shoot.
He was also a committed fundraiser for charities including Oakhaven Hospice which was very close to his heart.