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Board Members

The Cotswolds National Landscape Board is made up of 37 members who all take part in making key decisions that directly affect the Cotswolds National Landscape.

Members gather at Board, Executive and Sub-Committee meetings across the year and are drawn from three tiers of regional government to ensure that a fair and broad range of views and areas of expertise are reflected.  Of the 37 members, 15 are nominated by local authorities, eight by parish councils and 14 are appointed by government.

Board Member Register of Interest Forms

Alastair Adams

Appointed by Worcestershire County Council

Alastair was elected as a Wychavon District Councillor in 2011, and in 2013 elected as County Councillor for Worcestershire CC (Littletons Division). He Chairs the Overview and Scrutiny Environment Panel. After graduating with an Engineering degree, his first job was as a Project Manager installing electrical trace heating in power stations and oil rigs. Then worked as a technical salesman for NCR before moving into the glass industry where he became MD of Pilkington Glazing for 16 years. In 2006, he was asked if he would be interested in helping to resurrect a British pen brand, and now he is owner and MD of Conway Stewart – a British fountain pen manufacturer that exports all around the world.

Committees and Groups: Finance and Governance Committee

Nigel Adcock

Appointed by Tewkesbury Borough Council

Nigel has lived in Woodmancote for over thirty years. After graduating with a Humanities degree he worked as an Estate Agent, managing branches for two large companies in the South West. A career change led to him teaching Geography at a school located just outside Gloucester, becoming involved with delivering the Duke of Edinburgh Award. Aside from his professional roles he is a Flood Warden and Tree Warden for the Village. He became a Parish Councillor in 2019, becoming involved in organising a scheme to benefit both  biodiversity in the CNL and enhancing a flood betterment scheme. Nigel was elected to TBC for Cleeve Hill ward in May 2023.

Committees and Groups: Wellbeing and Inclusion Working Group; Planning and Infrastructure Working Group

Jo Barker

Appointed by Warwickshire County Council

Jo is a mum, a politician, carer and full-time business woman. She is the 5th generation to manage their ever evolving business – from farming, to haulage of coal, to property today – moving with the times and adapting as rural life changes. She has a professional interest in geomorphology and climate change, having studied for a PhD in these fields. Memberships / Advisory Positions: Warwickshire Country Council, Stratford District Council, F.R.G.S.

David Broad

Appointed by Parish Council Group 4

David has lived in Chedworth since 1956, and a member of Chedworth Parish Council since 1991. He spent12 years as a Cotswold District Council member, serving on their Planning Committee, he remains an Honorary Alderman.  David’s interest include music (being a member of Chedworth Silver Band), photography, recording rural life, railway preservation, and classic motorcycles. He has a particular interest in access for the disabled having been diagnosed with a serious illness which could have confined him to a wheel chair, but is currently in remission.

Martin Brown

Appointed by Stroud District Council

Martin has lived in Bisley, near Stroud, since 2016. Before coming to live in the Cotswolds, he lived and worked as a teacher in New York, with extended spells working in Pakistan and Cambodia and travelling widely in Asia, Africa, Central and South America, mostly by bicycle. He has been on Bisley-with-Lypiatt Parish Council since 2018, and in 2021 he was elected to Stroud District Council, where he serves on the Environment and Development Control Committees. He is also a Director of Bisley Community Composting Scheme. Together with his partner Leigh, he grows much of their household’s fruit and vegetables, and is nurturing a wildflower meadow on formerly sheep-grazed land. He also is a bell-ringer at All Saints Church, Bisley.

Committees and Groups: Climate Action Working Group

Nicholas Bumford

Appointed by Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs.

Nicholas has been farming for over 40 years, and been a farm manager for 30 years. He is currently Director of Guiting Manor Farms. Nick has had a voluntary role hosting educational visits at Guiting Manor Farms for 25 years, the farm provides education for land based colleges, schools and public groups. Nick has held Vice-Chair and Chair roles at the Arable Research Centre, Cirencester Technical Committee; the Gloucestershire Executive Committee of the Farming and Wildlife Advisory Group; the Gloucestershire/Wiltshire National Farmers’ Union; the Cotswold Sheep Group; the Parish Council, and the Cotswold Arable Study Group. Nick is a qualified Crop and Fertiliser Advisor, and has a wealth of experience woodland, conservation, and landscape management.

Committees and Groups: Chair of the Farming in Protected Landscapes Assessment Panel

Phillip Chapman

Appointed by Cherwell District Council

Phil has lived in North Oxfordshire for thirty years. He was elected to Cherwell District Council in May 2018. Phil graduated from UMIST in Management Sciences, joined Unilever and has spent his career in International Marketing, mostly in food, including Lipton Tea. He and his family spent several spells abroad. Phil loves living in the countryside and walks most days.

Committees and Groups:  Executive Committee

Rebecca Charley : Vice Chair

Appointed by Parish Council Group 7

After a long and successful career with the National Trust (advising on farming and land management matters), Rebecca is currently Strategic Lead for Nature Recovery and Biodiversity at Stroud District Council. She is a Parish Councillor for Whiteshill and Ruscombe Parish Council and Chair of Ruscombe Valley Action Group.

Committees and Groups: Executive Committee (Vice Chair); Farming in Protected Landscapes Assessment Panel

Katherine Chesson

Appointed by Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs.

Katherine (she/they pronouns) served for more than a decade at the National Park Foundation, a US-based philanthropic organisation raising private support for America’s national parks. As a senior leader within the organisation, they worked closely with National Park Service employees and local park partners to develop and implement high priority projects and programs across the country that engage people with more than 400 national parks. Her passion was, and remains, reducing barriers for communities historically excluded from public lands. Since their move to Oxfordshire, Katherine now leads Community Action Groups Oxfordshire, a member-led organisation which supports local climate action across the county. She is thrilled to be raising two young children in the countryside with her wife and their black Labrador.

Committees and Groups: Chair of the Wellbeing and Inclusion Working Group 

Brendan Costelloe

Appointed by Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs.

Brendan started his career working as a planner at Cheltenham Borough Council. After completing an MSc in Conservation Science from Imperial College, he joined the RSPB as a Senior Policy Officer. He has also been the Policy Manager for the British Ecological Society and a Senior Advisor to Defra, he is currently the Director of Policy and Strategy for the Soil Association. Brendan grew up near the beautiful Linover Wood in the Cotswolds, and in his spare time he loves to get back to the fresh air of the Cotswolds, watch Cheltenham Town and go running.

Committees and Groups: Chair of the Projects and Fundraising Working Group

Susan Crawford

Appointed by Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs.

Sue is a solicitor with over 30 years’ experience in the corporate and commercial field. She has lived in the Cotswolds with her family for the past 20 years, on a farm where her husband rears Aberdeen Angus beef cattle on an organic basis. She is committed to the Cotswolds, and its conservation and accessibility. She was a Trustee of Gloucestershire Wildlife Trust for 8 years, with a particular interest in legal, fundraising and marketing issues. She is a keen gardener and garden designer – a proud holder of an RMS medal. She is also involved with various charities including Maggie’s Cancer Care in Cheltenham.

Committees and Groups: Executive Committee; Finance and Governance Committee

Paul Crossley

Appointed by Bath & North East Somerset Council

Paul served as a Councillor on Bath City Council from 1988 to 2006 and BaNES from 1999 to present. From May 2003 to May 2007 and May 2011 to May 2015 he was the Leader of the Council. From May 1999 to May 2003 and from May 2007 to May 2011 Paul served on the Council Planning and Development Committee. From May 2019 to present he has been on the Council Cabinet covering Parks, Leisure, Heritage and Tourism. Paul has experience of delivering and developing strategic agendas, of community consultation and engagement, developing planning policy and deciding on individual planning applications. Paul’s areas of interest are the environment, climate emergency and planning policy.

Committees and Groups: Executive Committee

Matthew Darby

Appointed by Parish Council Group 8

Matt is Parish Councillor for Bredon and Bredon’s Norton. Matt owns and manages the Kemerton Estate in the north-west Cotswolds. He is experienced in nature conservation, farming and forestry, town planning, landscape history, and the charitable sector. His current and recent voluntary roles include: National Trust (Midlands) Regional Advisory Board (2012-), Land Outdoors and Nature Board (2015-), trustee of the Howick Arboretum (2018), founder-governor of Kemerton Conservation Trust (1989-), director of (Tewkesbury) Abbey Lawn Trust (2012-), trustee of The Iris Darnton Foundation (2004-), Secretary of Bredon Parish Neighbourhood Plan Committee (2015-17).

Amanda Davis

Appointed by Parish Council Group 3

Amanda is Parish Councillor for Bourton-on-the-Water, where she is on Planning, Highways, Youth and Wellbeing, Finance and Village Environment Committees. Amanda’s professional background is as an economist, secondary maths teacher, and project manager.  With an MSc in Health Economics, Amanda has managed NHS services and had leadership roles in major public health programmes including Tyne and Wear Health Action Zone. Amanda plays a leading role on steering groups for Bourton Health Connect, working on projects relating to mental health resilience, and dementia support. She chairs her local Residents Association and is an active Member of Midcounties Co-Operative.

Committees and Groups Wellbeing and Inclusion Working Group

Benjamin Dent

Appointed by Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs.

Ben spent 12 years working in government on environment policies, and since then has specialised in improving agri-food supply chains’ competitiveness through collaboration, sustainability, and understanding markets. He has been on the boards of the Farm Retail Association, the South of England Agricultural Society, and Kent Farmers’ Market Association, which he founded in 2009. He chairs the Soil Association’s Standards Board, and served on the Cotswold LEADER Local Action Group. He also works in Sub-Saharan Africa, Canada, and Australia, where is an Adjunct Senior Fellow in the School of Agriculture and Food Science at The University of Queensland.

Committees and Groups: Chair of the Climate Action Working Group; Projects and Fundraising Working Group

Ellie Fujioka

Appointed by Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs.

Ellie has worked in international development and environment for over 20 years, studying for the first postgraduate degree, the MA in Environment and Development, at Sussex University, that brought the study of people and environment together. Currently Head of Institutional Funding and Partnerships at WaterAid UK, she previously worked for an environment think tank in Oxford, Global Canopy, as well as Oxfam GB and Farm Africa. Ellie is passionate about making the countryside more accessible for all children and their families.

Committees and Groups: Projects and Fundraising Working Group

Andy Graham

Appointed by Oxfordshire County Council

Andy is currently the leader of West Oxfordshire District Council, as well as County Councillor for the Woodstock Division of Oxfordshire County Council. He served as Chair of the Local Government Arts Forum for the 52 districts and six counties of the East of England, and served on the regional board of the Arts Council. Andy is a passionate advocate for the arts, a published playwright, and a theatre producer and director. He set up Snap Theatre Company (1979-2005), creating over 120 productions which reached an audience of over 3.5 million people; and gaining the Prince Michael Road Safety Award. He established Ai ai Ltd, an international arts charity (2006-2015) setting up sustainable arts and educational partnerships in the UK and worldwide.

Committees and Groups:  Executive Committee

Elizabeth Hodges

Appointed by Parish Council Group 1

Liz is partner in a farming / agricultural contracting business  working both within and outside the CNL. She is a councillor on Chipping Campden Town Council, a trustee for Chipping Campden Town Trust, Vice President of Gloucestershire Association of Parish and Town Councils, Director of Cotswold Edge Enterprise Ltd (a community interest company) and Gloucestershire Market Towns Forum Ltd.  Liz has much experience working in the food industry, has extensively promoted British food. Liz is passionate about retaining Cotswold market towns and villages as thriving living and working communities.

Committees and Groups: Planning and Infrastructure Working Group

Paul Hodgkinson

Appointed by Gloucestershire County Council

Paul obtained a degree in French at Reading University before embarking on a career in financial services for 18 years, working for three blue chip companies. Since 2004 he has run his own business specialising in executive coaching and leadership development. Currently representing the Bourton and Northleach Division on Gloucestershire County Council, he has been Leader of the Liberal Democrat Group since 2016. He served on Cotswold District Council from 2007-2015. He also presents a regular show on Cotswolds Radio and has lived in the Cotswolds for 32 years. His relevant interests include animal welfare, public transport, equality, climate change and weather.

Graham Hopkins

Appointed by Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs.

Graham is a Chartered Engineer with a career spanning forty years. His last corporate role was as Safety, Technical and Engineering Director for Network Rail, during which time, he chaired the Rail Industry Technical Leadership Group. Before that, Graham spent many years with Rolls-Royce plc, including as Director of Engineering and Technology for Defence Engines, and as EVP of Engineering and Technology for Aerospace Component Engineering. He is a Fellow of the Royal Academy of Engineering, the Royal Aeronautical Society, and the RSA. Graham and his wife have lived in the Cotswolds for over fifteen years, and he has a strong affinity for the area, its landscape, its communities, and its beauty. Graham is passionate about the environment and climate action.

Committees and Groups: Executive Committee; Planning and Infrastructure Working Group

Martin Horwood

Appointed by Cheltenham Borough Council

Currently a councillor and cabinet member on Cheltenham Borough Council, Martin is a former MP for Cheltenham and former MEP for the South West of England. He is currently President of the Green Liberal Democrats and has held national party spokespersonships on environmental policy, international affairs, and international development. His professional career was in charity and third sector fundraising and marketing including for Oxfam in the UK and India, as Director of Fundraising at the Alzheimer’s Society and as Director of Engagement and Impact for Bristol-based data and international development organisation Development Initiatives. He represents Leckhampton on Cheltenham Borough Council and is also a Leckhampton parish councillor and chair of their Neighbourhood Plan working group. He is also a trustee of Gloucestershire Wildlife Trust.

Committees and Groups: Planning and Infrastructure Working Group

Jane Hull

Appointed by Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs.

Jane has been interested in conservation and volunteering from an early age. She is a Chartered Forester, and ran a forestry training programme, briefly worked internationally, then joined the Forestry Commission where she has worked in frontline and policy roles. She has been involved in setting up various community initiatives near Oxford including an intentional residential community, a community café, and a Messy Church. She enjoys exploring the Cotswolds – by public transport, on foot, and by bike.

Committees and Groups: Climate Action Working Group

Juliet Layton

Appointed by Cotswold District Council

Juliet has been a district councillor since 2011 and has served on the Cotswold District Council Planning Committee since first elected, including a period as Chair until she became a Cabinet Member for Planning and Regulatory Services. Initially, Juliet was District Councillor for the Cotswold Water Park Ward until boundary changes led to her having responsibility for the South Cerney Village ward. However, the Water Park remains part of her portfolio and she is very active in supporting its aims to enhance connectivity and biodiversity.

Cate Le Grice-Mack

Appointed by Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs.

Cate’s early career was in teaching, after which she began farming, with a passion for rare breed conservation, renewable energy, and farmers’ markets. Cate has served as a Somerset District and County councillor, with interests in sustainable development, environment and transport, rural “value added” supply chains, and employment. She was appointed to the board of the Countryside Agency on its establishment in 1999, and served as an environmental partner on the South West Regional Assembly (2000-2009), elected by the environmental NGOs. She retired from active farming in 2007, but remains a judge for the Portland Sheep Breeders Society. She has also held positions on CPRE National Policy committee, and as Chair of Norton Radstock Regeneration Co.

Committees and Groups: Executive Committee;  Planning and Infrastructure Working Group

Brendan McCarthy : Chair

Appointed by Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs

Following three years at the Royal Agricultural College, Brendan qualified as a chartered surveyor and agricultural valuer, and spent the majority of his career at the National Trust, including some 14 years as a Regional Director. He served as chairman of Daglingworth Parish Council for 10 years. He was the chief executive of the Old Royal Naval College in London, where he also chaired the Maritime Greenwich World Heritage Site and was a non-executive director of the Destination Management Company. He has also been involved in helping to develop conservation policies in Europe, Scandinavia, Australia, New Zealand and Bermuda.

He took over as Chair of the Board in March 2020.

Committees and Groups: Executive Committee (Chair); Finance and Governance Committee; Farming in Protected Landscapes Assessment Panel

Martin Mitchell

Appointed by Parish Council Group 6

Martin moved to Claverton in the Avon Valley in 2017 and became a Parish Councillor soon afterwards. For most of his working life he was a police officer with the Metropolitan Police and lived for 30 years on the edge of Epping Forest. He worked in many parts of London and was seconded to the Inspectorate of Constabulary. He sat on the National Executive of the Police Superintendent’s Association. Since retirement he’s become a Puppy Raiser for Guide Dogs, a debt coach for a charity; and refugee co-ordinator, mentor/coach and Trustee for an Anglican Diocese. He’s interested in inclusion, access and disability, and is taking a local interest in climate change, river water quality issues and road and transport planning.

Committees and Groups: Executive Committee; Wellbeing and Inclusion Working Group

Rosie Pearson

Appointed by West Oxfordshire District Council

Rosie studied English at Oxford University, and worked in PR, journalism, education, philanthropy and the arts. She hosts a popular exhibition of sculpture in stone at her home, Asthall Manor and a community supported agriculture scheme in the walled garden, and is trying to restore biodiversity in the flood plain, woodland and garden. Rosie was elected to West Oxfordshire District Council for the Green Party in 2022. An optimist by nature, she believes that we are capable of finding a more generous and harmonious way to live on the earth than that which is considered normal. She is inspired by a vision of a future which is not only cleaner and fairer, but also happier, less stressful, and more fun.

Committees and Groups: Climate Action Working Group

David Powell

Appointed by Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs

David has extensive experience in local government, gained in Unitary, County and District level Councils. His career has included roles as a Chief Executive, Deputy Chief Executive and over 10 years as a Finance Director where he was involved in setting up several private/public partnerships. As a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Public Finance and Accountancy he has been a Government Advisor, a local government peer reviewer and was involved in the Social Housing Sector as a former Chair of a Gloucestershire Housing Association.

Committees and Groups: Chair of the Finance and Governance Committee

Margaret Reid

Co-opted onto the Board

After a childhood in Hertfordshire her family moved to Scotland. Margaret’s working life as an academic at Glasgow University allowed her to work on the goal of improving women’s health through research and teaching. Later management roles gave her some useful experience for the time, much later on, when she took on the role of Head Warden of the Cotswolds Voluntary Wardens. Life outside work was always to do with being outdoors and being physically active, and it was this love of the countryside and ‘outdoors’ that led her to join the wardens when she moved in 2011 to the Cotswolds. Since then she has had a glorious retirement getting to know the Cotswolds paths.

Committees and Groups: Chair of the Cotswold Trails and Access Partnership

Isabel Ross

Appointed by Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs.

The countryside is Isabel’s passion and one that she has been lucky enough to make her career and her continuing pleasure. After several years farming on organic holdings and as an organic auditor in the UK, and completing a BSc in organic agriculture Isabel went abroad to Zambia as an organic advisor. As a herb sourcing manager she maintained that global perspective by visiting and building relationships with suppliers and farmers across the world. She spent 15 years at Soil Association as their standards manager, before taking up a senior consultancy position with 3Keel (Sustainability Consultants).

Committees and Groups: Climate Action Working Group

Ray Sanderson

Appointed by Parish Council Group 5

Ray worked as a motor technician, teaching higher education and running a driving school. He has been very involved in the community, becoming a Malmesbury town councillor in 1983, mayor in 1987 and 2012. He has served on all the major committees within the council, his favourite being planning and the environment. He has been honoured with the Freedom of the City of York, the Rotary International “Service before Self” Award, and other accolades as a result of his involvement within the community and environment. He is a member of the Rotary Club of Royal Wootton Bassett and District, Chair of Malmesbury and District Foodbank, President of Malmesbury Youth Football Club, and Chair of Malmesbury Flood Working Group.

Emma Sims

Appointed by Wychavon District Council

Emma was elected as a District Councillor at Stroud District Council 2011/2015 and is currently District Councillor for Broadway at Wychavon District Council and is a Parish Councillor in Broadway. Emma has been very much involved with local schools and in promoting community groups to support the development of sustainable projects in and around the village. Emma’s career started in newspapers, then BBC local and national radio as a journalist and is now writing scripts and children’s books on sustainability. With over twenty years of experience in property development, management, and investment, public sector experience and with a family connection to farming, Emma has a dedicated interest in promoting sustainability with our social, economic and environmental responsibility.

Ben Stokes

Appointed by South Gloucestershire Council

Ben spent most of his childhood at his mother’s livery yard, where hundreds learnt to ride and appreciate the Cotswolds countryside. After being an army officer and HR consultant, Ben returned to the Cotswolds to run a rural business, manage a church community centre and the Vassal Centre Trust – a barrier free access facility for businesses catering for people with disabilities. Being on the Dyrham Parish Council and chairing the Old School / Hall Trust committee led to becoming a councillor for Boyd Valley at South Gloucestershire Council. Ben is a member of the Countryside Alliance and has an interest in all countryside traditions, gardening and sustainable land management.

Committees and Groups: Executive Committee; Wellbeing and Inclusion Working Group

John Swanton

Appointed by Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs.

John is team rector of the South Cotswolds Team Ministry, leading churches across 15 rural parishes with a small team of clergy. He has direct responsibility for five rural parishes near Cirencester. He has a wide range of experience and expertise in housing management, development, finance and community engagement, championing rural housing and housing options for older people and people with special needs. He is a governor of two primary schools; and a trustee of an educational trust. He is a member of the Diocese of Gloucester’s Resources Committee and Diocesan Synod. He was made a Canon of Gloucester Cathedral in 2019. He enjoys gardening, historic buildings, agricultural shows, walking the family dog and keeping bantams/hens.

Committees and Groups: Projects and Fundraising Working Group

Sarah Whalley-Hoggins

Appointed by Stratford on Avon District Council

Sarah was brought up in Bradford, where her parents ensured that a love of the Countryside was instilled via trips to the Yorkshire Dales National Park and on visits to the Cotswolds to see her grandparents. One of her strongest memories when visiting the Cotswolds was how dark their village was at night. Sarah worked as a police officer in West Yorkshire and later became a primary school head teacher. She takes a keen interest in rural crime and how we encourage everyone to make full use of the countryside around them. Her husband is a fuel merchant whose company is diversifying into sustainable energy and her son is having an education that embraces all that the countryside has to offer.