WILTSHIRE'S new High Sheriff was sworn in today, in a ceremony which dates back to Saxon times.

Nicola Alberry, of Calne, undertook her Declaration and acceptance at Calne Town Hall on Friday, April 6, taking over from Penny Marland.

The High Sheriff is the Sovereign's representative in the county for matters of law and order and the judiciary. It is the oldest secular office in England and Wales after the Crown, and modern High Sheriffs still have a close relationship with judges, magistrates, the police, the coroner and the probation service.

Mrs Alberry, said: "I am honoured and privileged to be the High Sheriff of Wiltshire in 2018. During my year, I want to raise awareness of the impact of domestic abuse on families and the wider community.

"Working with Wiltshire Community Foundation I hope to raise funds to support the fantastic work that charities and voluntary organisations do in the county to help and support these victims - both male and female - and their families."

She started her career working for HSBC in corporate banking and recovery, and over the last 25 years has worked in the world of economic development, public private partnerships. She holds several non-executive board roles including with Business West and GWE Holdings. Mrs Alberry is also chairman of Swindon's Women's Aid and a director of Swindon Museum and Art Gallery Trust.

16 years ago she set up Swindon Cares, which has raised over £250,000 for local charities in Swindon, is an active Rotarian, and was appointed Deputy Lieutenant in 2006.

Mrs Alberry will be responsible for a number of ceremonial duties during her year in office, including attending Royal visits in the county, ensuring the well-being and protection of High Court Judges when they visit the county, being prepared to be the Returning Officer at parliamentary elections, and presenting court awards.