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Authority says farewell to retiring leaders

This is an archived press release

Friday 28 March 2014

The Peak District National Park Authority said a fond farewell to three people who have played a leading role in shaping the national park as it is today.

Saying farewell to the Authority , Christopher Pennell, Pauline Beswick and John Lomas.They are director of land use policy John Lomas, who has retired after a 38-year career in conservation and planning, and Authority members Christopher Pennell and Pauline Beswick.

Christopher chaired the audit, resources and performance committee and Pauline was the Authority's cultural heritage representative. Both had come to the end of their appointments by the Defra Secretary of State.

Authority chair Tony Favell said: "We owe a tremendous debt to these three people who share a passion for the national park and care deeply about protecting its special qualities for the whole nation to enjoy.

"John's sheer dedication and hard work have made the national park a better place, while Christopher and Pauline have made an immense contribution to our decision-making through their specialist experience and knowledge.

"We thank each of them for passing on the national park in good heart to the next generation."

John Lomas began working for the national park in 1976, starting in area projects and rising to farm and countryside manager in the 1990s, director of conservation and development in 2003, and director of strategy and development in 2007.

He led the planning service from 2010, and latterly he concentrated on planning policy and land use. In the last decade he was particularly involved in major quarrying cases and for many years he represented English national park authorities in the government's development of agriculture and environment schemes.
 
John said: "The Peak District is a great combination of what nature created and what people have done over generations.  I was born and bred here and I've tried to bring the people and place together to make sure we look after what is special.  It's a place to live and work in, and to enjoy, and at the same time, its wildlife relies on us."  

Former National Trust East Midlands director Christopher Pennell was appointed to the Authority in 2006, becoming its member representative for natural beauty. At the same time he held prominent positions with Natural England, the Heritage Lottery Fund and Moors for the Future Partnership.

He played a leading role in defending sensitive landscapes, transferring the Eastern Moors and Roaches to sympathetic organisations and re-writing the strategy for managing routes used by recreational trail bikes and 4x4s.

Christopher said: "Being an Authority member is one of the best and most rewarding things I have done in a 46 year working career - to help for eight years to protect and enhance a national park which has given me and many millions more, the length and breadth of the nation, intense pleasure and enrichment."

Archaeological consultant and former museum curator Pauline Beswick joined the Authority in 2004 and has been its cultural heritage representative and English Heritage historic environment champion throughout this time.

Pauline chaired the Peak District Sustainable Development Fund panel for three years, served on the planning committee and represented the Authority on the Derbyshire Environmental Trust and Culture Derbyshire.

One of her most memorable occasions was accepting, on behalf of the Authority, English Heritage's first Heritage at Risk Award in 2008 for rescuing historic sites from the At Risk register.

Pauline said: "'I first discovered the joys of this national park as a youngster living on the outskirts of Manchester and I have felt privileged, many years later, to have served as a member and to have helped in a small way to cherish it and to pass it on to future generations."

The Authority also gave its thanks to Cllr Barbara Beeley, Oldham Council's representative, whose ward includes Dovestone Reservoir in the national park. Cllr Beeley, a retired teacher, is stepping down as a councillor in May and has represented Oldham for four years on the Authority.

Members elected Cllr Andrew McCloy as the new chair of the audit, resources and performance committee. Cllr McCloy is a parish representative from Youlgrave who is a freelance writer on outdoor recreation and countryside issues and is a former chair of the Peak District Local Access Forum.

Picture shows (left to right) Christopher Pennell, Pauline Beswick and John Lomas.

This is an archived press release

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