Meet the Chairs
Julie James was born in London but has lived in the Brecon Beacons National Park for many years. She is former director of personnel at Monarch Airlines and Monarch Aircraft Engineering and was a founding member of the Western Area Local Access Forum before joining the National Park Authority as a Welsh Government-appointed member in April 2006. She was elected deputy chair in 2010.
Mrs James also holds a number of non-executive appointments including being a non-executive director of Estyn (the Welsh schools' inspectorate) and director of the South West Wales Regional Tourism Partnership. She succeeds Monmouthshire Council's Eric Saxon as chair.
Mrs James and her husband, a retired GP, are intrepid walkers and can often be found walking their favourite spot on The Black Mountain and elsewhere in the Beacons.
The Broads Authority is a member of the UK National Parks family and, as its chairman, Stephen Johnson is a full member of the UK ANPA Executive.
Duncan Bryden is the convener of the Cairngorms National Park Authority Board. Duncan has a background in environmental and heritage management and works as an international adviser specialising in rural development and community consultations. A former director of the Scottish Tourism and Environment Forum as well as a national NGO, he's lived and worked in the Cairngorms for more than 30 years. He climbed his first Cairngorm aged four and has conquered all the Munroes as well as mountains in the Alps and the Rockies.
John Dyke, a farmer's son, joined the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food following his education at Crewkerne Grammar School. After a few years working in Whitehall, he returned to his native Somerset where he married and brought up his three children. "I wanted them to grow up as 'country children' appreciative of rural values," said John. Over the years he climbed up the MAFF ladder. And, before he finished his career as deputy regional director for the South West, he held senior positions in the MAFF offices of first Somerset and then Devon. John says he has always been concerned with the plight of small farmers - especially those struggling in difficult terrains like the hills.
Over the years, John also became concerned with environmental matters and was involved in drawing up and launching the ESA Scheme - including that still operating on Exmoor.
After retirement, John became a County Councillor for his home town of Crewkerne and shortly after was appointed by the Somerset County Council as one of its representatives on the Exmoor National Park Authority. Living in the same community as he was born, John has recently become something of a local historian. He has written a book about the Somerset village where his family, as well as being farmers, also ran the local pub. He is still very interested in rural affairs and counts gardening and travel as his main interests.
John is also the current chairman of ENPAA, (elected at the Annual Meeting in July 2011).
Bill Hitchins was elected chair of Dartmoor NPA in July 2009. He became a member of Bickleigh Parish Council in 1983 and its chairman in 1987. He was elected to South Hams District Council in 1991 and represents the Bickleigh and Shaugh Ward. He is currently the deputy leader, Historic Environment Champion, portfolio holder for Prosperity and the National Park representative for the South Hams.
Bill Jefferson, OBE
Born in Abbeytown, Cumbria, Bill Jefferson was educated at Wigton Nelson Tomlinson Grammar School, Wadham College at Oxford University (M.A. 1966) and the Czech Scientific University.
He worked for the British Council and British Embassy from 1966 to 1998 working in Libya, Kuwait, Algeria, United Arab Emirates, Gatar, Czechoslovakia and Portugal. Principal appointments were as counsellor to the British Embassy in Prague and Lisbon and director of the British Council in many countries. He was director for Technical Cooperation and Training for Overseas Countries in London from 1979 to 1982, and was awarded an OBE in 1986.
He has had lifelong interests in overseas countries, languages and Cumbria. Bill has been president of the Cumbria County Bowling Association since 2005 and chairman of Solway Coast Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty since 2002.
Loch Lomond And The Trossachs
Linda McKay is principal of Forth Valley College which educates 18,000 learners in the Forth Valley and central Scotland. She is also a member of the Scottish Funding Council's skills committee. Her work sees her liaise with local partners and schools to enhance educational opportunities and she has a particular interest in the role National Parks can play in the development of young people.
She has previously been a governor of the Scottish Police College, an independent member of the Police Advisory Board for Scotland, chair of the Scottish Qualifications Authority Advisory Council, vice chair of Scottish Enterprise Forth Valley and member of the East of Scotland Advisory Board for Scottish Enterprise.
As an enthusiastic walker, swimmer, birdwatcher and photographer, Linda is regularly to be found enjoying the special qualities and stunning environment of Loch Lomond & The Trossachs National Park.
Julian Johnson is the chairman of the Authority. He has lived in Wiltshire for 35 years but has long-standing connections with the New Forest. He was in the Army for nine years, worked in shipping in west Africa and then joined one of London’s leading advertising agencies. He moved into management and marketing in the manufacturing industry until his retirement. He was elected to Wiltshire County Council in 1993, later becoming chairman of the Transport, Highways Planning Committee and then Council chairman from 2001 to 2002. He represents Wiltshire at the South West Regional Assembly, and chairs the Regional Planning and Transport Group. Mr Johnson has served on many local bodies including the New Forest Committee. He enjoys travelling to remote areas, and is interested in military and colonial history, outdoor pursuits, wildlife and the environment. In 2000 he became a Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society.
John Riddle is a Northumberland County Council representative. John represents the National Park Authority on the following bodies, the English National Park Authorities Association - English Chairs' Group; LGA Rural Commission and the Northumberland Strategic Partnership.
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.
Tony Favell is a High Peak Borough Councillor, former MP and long-time resident of Edale with a professional background in law.
His deputy is Geoff Nickolds, a Secretary of State appointee and former employee of Severn Trent Water and who also chairs the East Midlands EA Committee.
Councillor Tony Brinsden grew up on a farm at Llanteg, near Narberth in Pembrokeshire and was educated at Narberth Grammar School. He worked at United Dairies in Whitland before joining the police, serving both in uniform and in CID as part of the Regional Crime Squad in Swansea.
He retired from the police in 1995 and was both elected to Pembrokeshire County Council and became a member of Pembrokeshire Coast National Park in 2004. He was elected the Authority's vice-chair in 2009 and chair in June 2011.
Cllr Brinsden's interests include classic motorbikes and classic cars. He is a member of the Pembrokeshire Classic Car Club. He is married with two grown-up children.
Caerwyn Roberts MBE, OBE
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'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.
The chair of UK ANPA was born in Penrith, Cumbria, Carl Lis has lived in Ingleton since 1982. He is deeply involved in the local community and has been chairman of Ingleton Parish Council on which he has served for more than 15 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 Ingleborough Community Centre Management Committee, Ingleton Rural Community Association, Ingleton Scout Executive and Ingleton Football Club, and is also chairman of the Ingleton Primary School Board of Governors.
Mr Lis was awarded an OBE in the 2009 New Year Honours List for his services to the communities of North Yorkshire.
He worked in the quarrying industry for 40 years and was manager of Ingleton Quarry for Hanson Aggregates for more than 20 years. He was appointed to the Yorkshire Dales National Park Authority in 1996 and was chairman from 2004 to 2008. He was re-elected chairman in July 2009.