New member for New Forest National Park Authority

Published Friday 16 December 2005

Roger Heape has been appointed as a member of the New Forest National Park Authority to replace Kerry Shephard who resigned this month to move to New Zealand with his family.

Mr Heape, 60, spent more than 30 years in the travel and tourism industry, most recently as Managing Director of British Airways Holidays. He received two major awards for his personal contributions to environmental initiatives. He is a trustee of the Sustainable Travel Foundation, a director of the Tourism Society and a fellow of the Royal Geographical Society. He was also elected to the Liberal Democrats' national policy committee where he served on a range of working groups including rural affairs.

Mr Heape is married with a son and daughter and moved to Hampshire 11 years ago. He is originally from the Midlands where walking in the Peak District sparked his interest in national parks. He studied Geography at Cambridge University. He enjoys trekking, mountain walking, skiing and sailing and his interests include climate studies and land ownership.

Mr Heape said: "I am delighted to be joining the New Forest National Park Authority at this exciting time as it builds towards taking up its full powers in April 2006. The New Forest is a national treasure and I look forward to working with colleagues and partners to ensure the National Park Authority makes a major contribution to its long-term future."

Mr Heape is one of six members of the New Forest National Park Authority appointed by the Secretary of State for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs for their skills, knowledge and experience and for their particular interest in the New Forest as well as their wider national viewpoint. Of the other 16 members of the National Park Authority, 12 are appointed by the county, district and borough councils within the National Park and four are selected by the Parish Councils.

Note to editors

For press enquiries please contact Martin O'Neill, Head of Communications, on 023 8028 6172, e-mail martin.o', or Rachel Shimell or Miranda Johnson of RM Communications on 023 8073 2981 or 01962 890208 respectively.

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