Board Members

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

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

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

Lived in Chedworth since 1956. Educated at St Andrew’s School Chedworth, Bourton Vale and Westwoods Grammar School Northleach. Worked in Northleach and Chedworth. Trained as motor mechanic and auto electrician. Worked as courier throughout the Cotswolds. Member of Chedworth Parish Council since 1991. Honorary Alderman Cotswold District Council. Chairman of Chedworth Village Hall Committee. Member of Chedworth Silver Band since 1967, Conductor since 1995. Writes for local newspapers. Arranges and publishes music. Interests include photography, recording rural life, railway preservation, motorcycles.

Committees and Groups:  Executive Committee

Steve Bucknell

Appointed by Wiltshire Council

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 has been a LEAF Demonstration Farm for five years,  providing education for land based colleges, schools and public groups. Nick has held Vice-Chairman and Chairman 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 in farming (sheep, arable, cattle), as well as woodland, conservation, and landscape management.

Committees and Groups: Glorious Cotswolds Grasslands Steering Group

Phillip Chapman

Appointed by Cherwell District Council

Phil has lived in North Oxfordshire for thirty years. He was elected to Cherwell district council 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; Fundraising 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. Following a spell at the National Council for Voluntary Organisations, he is now the Policy Manager for the British Ecological Society. Brendan was lucky to grow 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, and recently did a hot, sandy and painful marathon in Malawi!

Committees and Groups: 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/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 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 Maggies Cancer Care in Cheltenham.

Committees and Groups: A417 Steering Group

Paul Crossley

Appointed by Bath & North East Somerset Council

Paul has been a Councillor on Bath City Council from 1988 to 2006 and B&NES 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; Finance & Governance Sub Committee

Matthew Darby

Appointed by Parish Council Group 8

Parish Councillor for Bredon & Bredon’s Norton. Owns and manages the Kemerton Estate in the north-west Cotswolds. Experience in nature conservation, farming and forestry, town planning, landscape history, and the charitable sector. 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, Bredon Parish Neighbourhood Plan Committee (2015-17); Read more about Matthew at LinkedIn

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.

Since joining CCB in September 2019, Amanda has served on the Walking and Exploring Working Group.

Professionally, she is 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, which relied on stakeholder management.  She has taught secondary Mathematics at a rural boarding school with a Farm. Before moving permanently to Cotswolds 3 years ago, Amanda also lived on Hadrians Wall, on the edge of Northumberland National Park.

Now in Bourton-on-the-Water, Amanda plays a leading role on Steering Groups for Bourton Health Connect including Dementia Friendly Bourton, has just secured a grant for Council to lead on village mental health resilience, has run an Airbnb and works in walking holidays hospitality.  She chairs her local Residents Association and is Active Member for Midcounties Co-operative.  She competes in Dragonboat Paddling internationally.

Committees and Groups: Health, Wellbeing & Social Inclusion Working Group

Michael Dean

Appointed by Tewkesbury Borough Council

Mike is a member of the executive at Tewkesbury Council and lead member with portfolio responsibilities for customer services and IT strategy. Mike, who previously lived in Yorkshire until 1975, now lives in Stanley Pontlarge with his wife, Anne Dean. Read more about Michael at LinkedIn

Committees and Groups: Executive Committee;

Benjamin Dent

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

The Cotswolds has always been Ben’s spiritual home, despite 25 years in the South East.  He 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.

Read more about Ben’s experience on LinkedIn.

Committees and Groups: Fundraising Working Group

Elizabeth Eyre

Appointed by Worcestershire County Council

Liz, BA Hons York, Biological Sciences, started her career with Beecham Research Laboratories. She then gained experience in the City. Post Articles she became a senior Lloyds insurances and commercial auditor. She joined Xerox heading up their management accounts/capital projects section. Working for a range of Blue Chip companies, she has managed projects, worked in presales and sales, new product development, headed up a contract departments and IT support operations both in the UK and Germany. Post retirement she stood for elected office as a County Councillor in Worcestershire. Initially Vice-Chairman of Resources, she became Cabinet Member for Children and Families in 2002. For 13 years she served as Cabinet Member with the Children’s portfolio: Social Care and Education. She has also served as Vice-Chairman of Worcestershire’s Overview and Scrutiny Performance Board. She received her BEM for services to the public in 2016. Liz, a previous partnership member joined the Cotswolds Conservation Board in 2004. She was its Vice-Chairman for 5 years, and was Chairman for 5 years. She is a passionate biologist, ecologist and walker. Other positions: Member of the Rural Panel Wychavon, Vice chairman of Scrutiny Worcestershire County Council, Vice Chairman Broadway Museum and Art Gallery, Trustee of the Local Authority Mutual Investment Trust (LAMIT), Trustee Thomas Hodges Foundation twitter: @eeyre Read more about Liz at LinkedIn

Committees and Groups: Fundraising Working Group

Steve Good

Appointed by West Oxfordshire District Council

Andy Graham

Appointed by Oxfordshire County Council

Adrian Hardman

Appointed by Wychavon District Council

Adrian Hardman was first elected to Worcestershire County Council in March 2000 and became Leader of the County Council in November 2010.  He was Cabinet Member for Finance from 2001 to present and has represented the County in a series of roles during his public service. He lives in rural South Worcestershire on the edge of the Cotswold AONB and before becoming a full time Leader of the County Council had a career which spanned agriculture, the drinks industry and in the last years of his working life, the BBC.  He is particularly interested not only in Finance and Exchange Rates but in also biodiversity and attempting to grow organic vegetables.

Nick Hare

Appointed by Parish Council Group 5

For the last 25 years I have lived and worked in the Cotswolds, concentrating on the design, build, and management of substantial property development projects, both restoration and new build. I have an understanding of the construction industry and a working knowledge of the planning system. My interests are Architecture, Antiques, History and Country Sports.

 

Elizabeth Hodges

Appointed by Parish Council Group 1

Farmer/Agricultural Contractors.Town Councillor, Chipping Campden Town Council. Town Trustee Chipping Campden Town Trust, Vice Chmn Gloucestershire Association of Parish & Town Councils. Specialism: Food Microbiolist (ret’d), Agriculture , Director Cotswold Edge Enterprise Ltd, Member FeRN-uk.

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 3 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, and as part of that, 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, in a small village about 1000 feet above sea level. He has a strong affinity for this area, its landscape, its communities and its beauty. With the skills he has developed over the years coupled with his passion for the environment and how we adapt to climate change, Graham looks forward to making a contribution to the valuable work of the AONB.

Committees and Groups: Executive Committee; Planning & Infrastructure Working Group; A417 Steering Group

Jane Hull

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

My engagement with protected landscapes started early, taking part in conservation volunteering on Dartmoor as a teenager. My interest in how people shape landscapes influenced my choices, gaining a Geography degree and becoming a Chartered Forester. I ran a forestry training programme, briefly worked internationally, then joined the Forestry Commission where I’ve worked in frontline and policy roles.

I live close to Oxford, where I’ve been involved in setting up various community initiatives including an intentional residential community, a community café and a Messy Church. I love exploring – by public transport, on foot, by bike and with others…including enjoying time in the Cotswolds.

Norman Kay

Appointed by Stroud District Council

Having lived in the AONB for some forty years, we ran a small holding with sheep, goats, store cattle and pigs, plus some hens.  Our speciality has been Cotswold sheep, and we have won many of their trophies at one time or another.  We stopped showing in the early part of this century and are winding down, with just some Cotswolds and also Llanwenog sheep. I managed social care and child protection social work teams in this region, and have been a Stroud District Councillor on and off for thirty five years, holding a number of chairs and twice Chair of Council.  Locally I was mayor of Nailsworth for a three year term. Locally I serve on the committee of our community run village shop and am a member of the town’s Youth Club management committee.  I’m a keen member of our climate action group.  In our spare time we enjoy attending Cheltenham races as annual members and have small shares in five racehorses.

Committees and Groups: Health, Wellbeing and Social Inclusion Working Group

Garry King

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

Garry has worked in countryside and environmental work for nearly 30 years in the public, private and charitable sectors. Living with his family in rural Wiltshire, he has been involved with AONBs and National Parks for over 17 years, including previously with the Cotswolds AONB as both a Partnership and Conservation Board. He currently works as a planner in local government, having previously worked as an ecologist and land manager, and has interests in protected landscapes, green infrastructure and biodiversity. In his spare time, Garry contributes to the work of various professional organisations and environmental charities and has previously been involved in helping to establish two AONB charitable bodies and has administered an AONB Sustainable Development Fund (SDF) scheme as a volunteer. Read more about Garry at: LinkedIn

Committee and Groups: Cotswolds Champions Steering Group

Cate Le Grice-Mack

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

Cate started her working career teaching geography and humanities, economics and maths in Cambridgeshire and London. In 1985 she established Norwood Rare Breeds Survival Trust-approved Rare Breeds Centre breeding a variety of native British breeds, producing meat, cereals and visitor interest on 340 acres. All produce was sold to local customers through the farm shop and farmers’ markets. She introduced renewable energy systems (wind and solar) to power the farm’s butchery and shop. Cate has served as a Somerset District and County councillor, with particular interests in sustainable development, environment and transport, rural “value added” supply chains and employment. She was involved in the early establishment of farmers markets in Bath and Somerset. 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. Other positions held: CPRE National Policy committee; Chair of Norton Radstock Regeneration Co.

Committees and Groups: Executive Committee;  Planning & Infrastructure Working Group; Health, Wellbeing and Social Inclusion Working Group

Ed Macalister-Smith

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

Ed and his wife Rosemary live within the AONB boundary in Long Compton, Warks. He is keen to promote healthy communities, and sees opportunities for that through the AONB and through the extensive local walking networks. Ed has retired after a career in senior roles in the NHS and in the third sector, covering Oxford, Wiltshire, and Bath & North East Somerset. He continues his interest in the NHS as a Non-Executive Director at University Hospitals Coventry and Warwickshire, and with the National Institute for Health Research.  He also trained as a community first responder for his village with West Midlands Ambulance Service.  Ed is an occasional voluntary Cotswold Warden. Ed is a keen gardener, and has planted an orchard at his home. His original training was in land use with a BSc from Wye College, London University, and an MSc in Forestry from Oxford University. Read more about Ed at LinkedIn

Committees and Groups: Executive Committee; Finance & Governance Sub Committee

Brendan McCarthy : Chairman

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, covering two regions, with Gloucestershire and the Cotswolds at their heart.  He has lived in Daglingworth, near Cirencester, with his wife and two sons (now grown and flown) since 1993.  He served as Chairman of the Parish Council for 10 years.

Until late 2017, 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.  During his career, he has also been involved in helping to develop conservation policies in Europe, Scandinavia, Australia, New Zealand and Bermuda.

He took over as Chairman of the Cotswold Conservation Board in March 2020.  He’s also a Trustee of the National Trust Pension Fund and the Powell’s Education Foundation in Cirencester, a charity linked to his other role as a Steward of the Cirencester Society in London.

In his spare time, he enjoys all aspects of the countryside, gardens, art and architecture and travel.  He runs and cycles frequently and enjoys mountain walking and skiing.

Read more about Brendan at LinkedIn

Committee and Groups: Executive Committee (Chairman); Finance & Governance Sub Committee

Tony Merry

Appointed by Parish Council Group 2

Interested in rural skills, blacksmithing, dry stone walling, cider making. Voluntary Warden, Hon Sec Charlbury Walkers are welcome. Keen interest in local history and listed sites. Parish Council nominee from Charlbury Town Council. Responsibilities include sluice gate control on Evenlode, verge maintenance, Charlbury Corner House Trustee and Corner House Future sub-committee, Charlbury Day Centre Trustee, representative of Friend of Charlbury Library. Other positions held: Councillor Charlbury Town Council, Walkers are Welcome, Royal Society of Chemistry, Oxford Diocedsan Guild of Bell ringers.

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 & transport planning.

Read more about Martin at LinkedIn

Dominic Morris

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

Dom is a 4th Generation farmer from Quenington near Cirencester. Starting out as a pilot in the RAF, he broke his back in flying training. Whilst recovering, Dom led Prince’s Trust teams across the Cotswolds getting disadvantaged young people back into work. Retraining as a Political Officer, he was awarded medals for service on Afghanistan’s frontline and has worked on and in Pakistan, Syria, Nigeria and the Hurricane Irma response in the Caribbean. He continues his passion for getting youngsters back into work in his Public Appointment for the DWP where he was the Wales Member. Dom is a passionate campaigner for preserving our farming and our magnificent way of life in the Cotswolds. He has led campaigns on reducing rural crime and appropriate development across Gloucestershire.

Committee and Groups: Climate Change Working Group

Isabel Ross

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

The countryside is my passion and one I have been lucky enough to make my career and my continuing pleasure.

After several years farming on organic holdings and as an organic auditor in the UK, after completing a BSc in organic agriculture I went abroad to Zambia as an organic advisor.  Now as a herb sourcing manager I maintain that global perspective by visiting and building relationships with suppliers and farmers across the world.  15 years at Soil Association as standards manager helped me deliver mission-led advocacy in multi-stakeholder forums, but I never like to get too far from a field.

 

Jo Stafford

Appointed by Cheltenham Borough Council

Ben Stokes

Appointed by South Gloucestershire Council

With family roots in the Southern Cotswolds, I spent the majority of my free childhood hours at my mother’s livery yard, a wonderful community hub where hundreds of people learnt to ride and appreciate our glorious Cotswolds countryside. After a career as an Army Officer and then HR Consultant,  I returned to the Cotswolds to run a small rural business and work in the 3rd sector. I managed a church community centre and the Vassal Centre Trust – a barrier free access facility for businesses catering for people with disabilities. Many years on the Dyrham Parish Council and chairing the Old School / Hall Trust committee have led to a further 8 years as councillor for Boyd Valley at South Gloucestershire Council. There I am the Cabinet Member for Adults and Public Health. I live with my wife, our daughter, 4 horses and a menagerie of chickens on our property near Dyrham Park. I have been a member of the Countryside Alliance since its founding and have a keen interest in all countryside traditions, gardening and sustainable land management.

Committee and Groups: Cotswolds Champions Steering Group; Health, Wellbeing and Social Inclusion Working Group

John Swanton

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

Since July 2014, John has been Team Rector of the South Cotswolds Team Ministry, leading 22 historic churches across 15 rural parishes with a small team of clergy.  He has direct responsibility for five rural parishes in ‘The Ampneys’ near Cirencester and has been there since September 2011.

Before that, John’s career was in housing for some 26 years.  He has a wide range of experience and expertise in housing management, development, finance and community engagement.  He championed rural housing and housing options for older people and people with special needs.  John was a member of the Local Government Association’s expert advisory panel on the reform of Council Housing (HRA) Finance (2008-2011).  When working for a local authority, he had a lead role in safeguarding and liaison with health and social services.

At present he is a Governor of two small village Primary Schools; and a Trustee of a small educational trust.  He is a member of the Diocese of Gloucester’s Resources Committee and a member of 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: Fundraising Working Group; Planning & Infrastructure Working Group

Clive Webster

Appointed by Cotswold District Council

Clive grew up in Moreton-in-Marsh, attending St David’s and Campden schools before reading philosophy at King’s College London. He worked on a range of leading technology publications and websites for Dennis Publishing from 2004, before going freelance and moving back to Moreton in 2014 to support family and see more trees and stars. Clive secured planning permission for a straw bale eco-cottage in 2017 on the last piece of the old family farm. He was elected to Cotswold District Council on May 2nd 2019, becoming the Cabinet Member for Development Management, Landscape and Heritage. You can contact him at clive.webster@cotswold.gov.uk

Committees and Groups: Executive Committee

Sarah Whalley-Hoggins

Appointed by Stratford on Avon District Council

Sarah was born and brought up in Bradford. Her parents ensured that a love of the Countryside was instilled via frequent trips to the neighbouring Yorkshire Dales National Park and on visits to the Cotswolds to see her maternal grandparents. One of her strongest memories when visiting the Cotswolds was how dark her grandparents’ village was at night.

Sarah has 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.

She is married to a fuel merchant whose company is diversifying into sustainable energy and she is a mother to a son who is having an education that embraces all that the Countryside has to offer.

Committee and Groups: Health, Wellbeing and Social Inclusion Working Group