New members for New Forest National Park Authority

Published Thursday 31 May 2012

The Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, Caroline Spelman, has appointed two new members with a wealth of Forest experience to the New Forest National Park Authority.

Oliver Crosthwaite-Eyre was Official Verderer of the New Forest for nine years, in charge of the Verderers court which oversees the ancient practise of Commoning. He was also Chairman of the National Trust’s New Forest Committee, is President of the New Forest Association and Vice Chairman of the New Forest Trust.

Marian Spain was a member of the New Forest Committee for five years, as Regional Director for the Countryside Agency, and was involved in the creation of the National Park. She currently works for the water regulator Ofwat, and previously held posts at the Energy Saving Trust and the Environment Agency.

The Secretary of State appoints members to reflect the national importance placed on national parks, with responsibility for conservation, recreation, planning, access, land management and resources.

Oliver and Marian will hold the posts for four years, receiving an annual basic allowance of £1,807. Existing Secretary of State members Peter Frost, Ted Johnson and Vicky Myers have been reappointed until 31 March 2013.

Oliver, who was born in Lyndhurst, lives and farms in Bramshaw. He said: ‘This gives me experience of planning issues, the day-to-day management of private land in the Forest, and my nine years as a Verderer have given me direct personal knowledge of the tensions that can arise between the different recreation and agricultural users of the Forest, as well as conservation issues.

‘I am delighted to have been appointed, and I greatly look forward to working for the Forest as a member of the Authority.’

Marian, who lives at Yattendon, Berkshire, said: ‘I first came to know and love the Forest almost 20 years ago when I was working for the Countryside Agency. During the process to create the National Park I learnt a huge amount about the Forest and worked with many different people. I am delighted that I can once again play a part in making it a place that everybody can value.’

Chairman of the New Forest National Park Authority Julian Johnson welcomed the appointments. He said: ‘Both our new members have strong connections with the Forest. Oliver was the Official Verderer, representing the Court in dealing with key partners in the Forest, and so well understands the strategic issues facing the National Park.

‘Marian was a Regional Director with the Countryside Agency which she represented whilst serving as a member of the New Forest Committee – the precursor to the New Forest National Park Authority. She was closely involved with the designations of both the New Forest and South Downs National Parks, bringing experience of the political and technical challenges facing the park.

‘We look forward to officially meeting our new members at the Authority’s AGM on 28 June.’

NPA members have overall responsibility for making decisions. They are responsible for setting policies and priorities, ensuring efficient and effective use of resources, and that money is well spent. It is their job to represent the interests of the National Park and to balance out any conflicting pressures.

The Authority is made up of:

  • 12 members appointed by the county, district, and borough councils with land within the National Park
  • six appointed by the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs
  • four selected by Parish Councils, appointed to represent the wider National Park view, not just the interest of their own parish.

These two vacancies arose after Clive Chatters and Roger Heape stood down. Clive had served since the National Park was established in 2005 and was Chairman between 2007 and 2010. Roger was appointed in 2006 and was Chairman of the Resources and Performance Committee from 2006 to 2010. Both represented the Authority on several external organisations.


Notes to Editor:

About the New Forest National Park Authority

Protect - Enjoy - Prosper

The New Forest National Park Authority’s statutory purposes are to:

  • Conserve and enhance the natural beauty, wildlife and cultural heritage of the Park - Protect
  • Promote opportunities for understanding and enjoyment of its special qualities – Enjoy.

We also have a duty to:

  • Seek to foster the social and economic well-being of local communities within the Park – Prosper.

The New Forest National Park was designated in March 2005. Its unique landscape has been shaped over the centuries by grazing ponies, cattle and pigs which roam free. Majestic woodlands, rare heathland and a spectacular coastline provide fabulous opportunities for quiet recreation, enjoyment and discovery.

Media Contact:
Hilary Makin, Communications Manager, New Forest National Park Authority
Tel: 01590 646608

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