Meet the Chairs

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Melanie Doel

Brecon Beacons

Melanie Doel - small

Melanie Doel left the BBC from her role as a reporter in March 2010 to concentrate on a new business in media training and consultancy. She was appointed to the Brecon Beacons National Park Authority by the Welsh Government in July 2010. She is a member of the Wildfowl and Wetlands Trust, a volunteer with Breast Cancer Care, is deputy chair of the Journalists Charity in Wales and President of the North Glamorgan branch of the RSPCA. She was elected deputy chairman of the authority at the AGM on 27 June 2014 and was elected chairman at the AGM on 26 June 2015. She is the Chair of National Parks Wales and Deputy Chair of National Parks UK.

Jacquie Burgess

Broads

Jacquie Burgess

Jacquie Burgess, an Emeritus Professor of the University of East Anglia, was appointed a member by the Secretary of State in 2012 and was elected vice chairman a year later.

Jacquie attended the Blyth School in Norwich and studied geography at Hull University where she was a member of the rowing team. She joined the geography department at University College London in 1975 and became its first ever woman professor in 1998. She joined the School of Environmental Sciences at UEA in 2006 and a year later became its first female head.

Jacquie is a specialist in the cultural significance of landscapes and places and the importance of involving stakeholders and communities in decisions. Although she never had the opportunity to sail as a child she has taken up the challenge in her 60s and is learning the ropes with expert tuition from sailors at the Norfolk Broads Yacht Club in Wroxham.

As of June 2016, she is the current Chair of National Parks UK.

Peter Argyle

Cairngorms

Peter Argyle

Peter Argyle has been a councillor since May 1999 and is ward councillor for Aboyne, Upper Deeside and Donside. He is chair of the Infrastructure Services Committee and a past chair of the Scrutiny and Audit Committee. He previously served on the CNPA Board from March 2003 until September 2004 and was reappointed in March 2009. He is a director of Mid Deeside Limited. Peter is vice convenor of the CNPA planning committee. Nominated by Aberdeenshire Council and approved by the minister. He is also the Deputy Chair of National Parks UK

Bill Hitchins

Dartmoor

Bill commenced his working life running a family agricultural business covering a large part of southwest Devon and Dartmoor and later developed an equestrian and pet supply business alongside a small builder's merchant outlet at Roborough.  He owns a small-holding which qualifies him as a commoner with rights on Roborough Down where he served as association treasurer for 30 years.

Bill joined Bickleigh Parish Council in 1983 and become Chairman in 1987.  He was elected to South Hams District Council in 1991 and appointed Deputy Leader in 1994.  He has held a variety of senior offices including Chairman of the Council. He has also previously served as Dartmoor National Park Chairman, last being elected to this office in 2013.

Andrea Davis

Exmoor

Andrea Davis

Andrea Davis is a local authority member of Exmoor National Park, appointed by Devon County Council. The area Andrea represents is Combe Martin Rural which also includes Lynton and Lynmouth. Andrea was elected as chairman of the national park in July 2013 after six years as the Deputy Chairman. At County Hall, Andrea is the lead member for Health and Wellbeing which includes Devon County Council's new Public Health responsibilities. She is the chairman of the Health and Wellbeing Board. Andrea is a district councillor in North Devon, before taking on the cabinet position at county, Andrea was the lead member for Housing and Health at North Devon Council. Andrea has three children and is married to a Healthcare professional.

Michael McKinley

Lake District

Michael McKinley

Mike was born in Hertfordshire near Rickmansworth, and educated at Rickmansworth Grammar School. He went on to gain a history degree at Birmingham University. He moved to the Lake District in 1965 and has lived in Wasdale since 1982.

Mike ran his own retail business in Gosforth for 17 years and was formerly Divisional Sales and Marketing Director at Albright and Wilson in Whitehaven.

Mike's interests include gardening, sport and history.

Linda McKay

Loch Lomond And The Trossachs

Linda is serving her second term as Convener of Loch Lomond & The Trossachs National Park. She lives in the Trossachs and has a long association with the National Park through her professional role as Principal of Forth Valley College and her role as Board member with the Enterprise Network. Linda's other governance roles have been in the education sector as Chair of the SQA's Qualifications Committee and Advisory Council and with the Scottish Police as a member of the Police Advisory Board for Scotland and a Governor of the Scottish Police College. She was awarded an MBE for services to the Police in 2000.

Linda was Vice Chair of the Wood Commission and she is currently a member of the Programme Board overseeing the implementation of the recommendations for the development and support of Scotland's young workforce. In 2013 she was appointed as a Non Executive Director with the Scottish Government where she serves on the Strategy Board.

Oliver Crosthwaite-Eyre

New Forest

Oliver CrosthwaiteEyre

Oliver is the chairman of the New Forest National Park Authority. He was born in Lyndhurst and lives and farms in Bramshaw.

He was Official Verderer of the New Forest for nine years, in charge of the Verderers Court which oversees the ancient practice of Commoning.

He was also chairman of the National Trust's New Forest Committee, is president of the New Forest Association and vice chairman of the New Forest Trust.

Glen Sanderson

Northumberland

Glen Sanderson

Councillor Glen Sanderson has had a long association with the national park, having been on the old National Park Committee before the authority was constituted. He joined the authority again in 2013. Glen was born in Rothbury, and currently runs the family farm at Eshott. He has been a county councillor for around 20 years, representing the Longhorsley ward - a very large rural area that adjoins the boundary of the National Park. Glen was London Council delegate for the NFU for a number of years as well as having been NFU County Chairman. He is also a Justice of the Peace.

Jim Bailey

North York Moors

Jim Bailey runs a family farm in the North York Moors and believes that a strong, full local community is essential for the wellbeing of the natural and social environment of the Park. He represents Ampleforth Ward on Ryedale District Council.

Lesley Roberts

Peak District

Lesley Roberts

Lesley Roberts is a retired maths and English tutor, and lives on the fringes of Peak District National Park, near to Hen Cloud and The Roaches. This is part of the South West Peak and the Staffordshire Moorlands, which form the Limestone plateau, a very important natural habitat; one which she treasures immensely.

Mike James

Pembrokeshire Coast

Mike James

Mike has lived in St Dogmaels all his life. He was employed by Dewhirst Ladieswear in Cardigan for 32 years and worked in education for six years at Ysgol Gyfun Emlyn.

He was Clerk to St Dogmaels Community Council for 7 years.

He was elected County Councillor for the St Dogmaels Ward in November 2009 and was appointed by Pembrokeshire County Council to serve on the national park authority in 2010. Mike was elected chair of the national park authority in June 2013.

Caerwyn Roberts MBE, OBE

Snowdonia

Caerwyn Roberts

A farmer from Harlech, Caerwyn Roberts has been a member of the Snowdonia National Park Authority since 1987 and its chairman since 1999. He is the current chairman of National Parks Wales. He is a former chairman of ANPA and from 2004-2010 he was its vice-chairman. In 1988, Cllr Roberts was appointed a magistrate. Since 1999 he has been a Gwynedd County Councillor representing his hometown of Harlech and Talsarnau. He currently farms 400 acres of land in partnership with his wife, Bet, and son, Bryn. In 1979, he was one of the first farmers to diversify into farm tourism when he opened the farm for school and educational visits.

Subsequently, Merthyr Farm has been featured on television and radio programmes, national newspapers and magazines on numerous occasions. In 1997 Mr Roberts received an MBE in recognition of his services to Welsh agriculture, and in 2010 was awarded the OBE for his services to the Community of Gwynedd.

Margaret Paren

South Downs

Margaret Paren

Margaret Paren's career was spent in Whitehall, mainly in the Ministry of Defence but also with spells in the Cabinet Office and in the National Audit Office. She was a member of the Royal College of Defence Studies in 1990. After taking early retirement she became involved in local community activities and the Campaign for the Protection of Rural England (CPRE).

Since 2001 she has been heavily involved with the South Downs, both as a campaigner for the national park and as a member of the South Downs Joint Committee and its predecessor bodies. Her interests include travel, bird watching, dog walking and, when time permits, painting.

Carl Lis

Yorkshire Dales

Born in Penrith, Cumbria, Carl Lis has lived in Ingleton since 1982. He is deeply involved in the local community and is a serving member of Ingleton Parish Council on which he has served for over twenty-five years. Since 1991 he has been the elected Craven District Councillor for the Ingleborough Ward, and was Leader of the Council for seven years in total, most recently 2003 to 2008. He is Chairman of Ingleton Rural Community Association, Ingleton Scout Executive, Ingleton Theatre Group and Ingleton Football Club. He is also chairman of the Ingleton Primary School Board of Governors.

Carl was awarded an OBE in the 2009 New Years Honours for his services to the communities of the Yorkshire Dales.

Carl worked in the quarrying industry for forty years and was manager of Ingleton Quarry for Hanson Aggregates for over twenty five years. He was appointed to the Yorkshire Dales National Park Authority in 1996 and was Chairman from 2004 to 2008, and 2009 to 2012.  He was re-elected Chairman in June 2016.

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