Secretary of State appoints three new National Park Authority members

Professor Alex Neill

Published Thursday 4 April 2013

Three new members have been appointed to the New Forest National Park Authority by Owen Paterson, the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs.

Professor Alex Neill, Phil Marshall and Judith Webb MBE have each been appointed for a four year period from 1 April 2013, and complete the complement of six members appointed to the Authority by the Secretary of State.

Of the other 22 members of the Authority, 12 are appointed by the county, unitary, district and borough councils within the National Park, whilst four more members are selected by local parish councils.

Alex Neill is a Professor of Philosophy, and Pro Vice-Chancellor with responsibility for education at the University of Southampton.

Phil Marshall, from Lee near Romsey, worked as a Countryside Manager for the National Trust in the New Forest for over 25 years and now works as a Landscape Manager at the Broadlands Estate.

Judith Webb’s love of the New Forest stems from childhood holidays spent with relatives near New Milton. She is a Forestry Commissioner and was awarded her MBE for services to conservation.  

Julian Johnson, chairman of the New Forest National Park Authority, said: 'I am very pleased to welcome Alex, Phil and Judith to the New Forest National Park. They all bring a wealth of experience and expertise to the Authority and will play a crucial role in the future of the New Forest.’

John Pemberton has also been re-appointed for four years as a Secretary of State member of the Authority.

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Picture caption: Professor Alex Neill

Biographies for new members:

Professor Alex Neill

Alex is a Professor of Philosophy, and Pro Vice-Chancellor with responsibility for education at the University of Southampton. Before moving to Southampton he taught at the University of St Andrews, and at universities in the United States. He is committed to the ideals that led to the formation of the National Park system, and looks forward to helping to keep those ideals alive in the life of the New Forest National Park.

Phil Marshall

I worked in the New Forest for over 25 years as Countryside Manger for the National Trust. I was responsible for the National Trust acquiring Ibsley and Rockford Common and more recently in purchasing Foxbury Plantation and restoring this site to heathland. I currently work for Broadlands Estate, Romsey, as their Landscape Manager. I am also a council member of the New Forest Association. I live in Lee near Romsey with my partner Debbie, two dogs, two cats and three sheep and lots of chickens. Interests include photography, history, golf and fishing.

Judith Webb MBE

My love of the New Forest stems from regular childhood holidays spent with relatives who lived near New Milton and has continued ever since, including taking my own children and their friends on holidays to the Forest. My undergraduate dissertation centred around the management of lowland heaths and my MSC in Environmental Technology specialised in habitat management. I have a wide range of experience in the public, private and voluntary environmental sectors including working for local authorities, the Country Land and Business Association and volunteering with BTCV and the wildlife trusts. I have run my own land management contracting and consultancy business and used to farm. I was awarded my MBE for services to conservation. Much of my activity is in the woodland and forestry related sectors and I have chaired the England Woodland Biodiversity Group and the Wood Pasture and Parkland technical advisory group, and worked for the Confederation of Forest Industries (ConFor). I have just completed terms as a Non-Executive Director of the National Forest Company and as a Secretary of State appointee to the Cotswolds AONB. I am currently a Forestry Commissioner, Deputy Chair of JNCC (the Joint Nature Conservation Committee) and a Trustee of the Deer Initiative, including chairing the management of wild deer best practice group.

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.

Visit www.newforestnpa.gov.uk to find out more.

Media Contacts:

Sion Donovan, Communications Officer, New Forest National Park Authority

Tel: 01590 646639

Email: sion.donovan@newforestnpa.gov.uk

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