New environment and rural economy lead for National Park Authority

paul walton

Published Wednesday 7 May 2014

Paul Walton has been appointed as Head of Environment and Rural Economy for the New Forest National Park Authority.

He joins the Authority’s management team from the National Trust where he was a General Manager for the Trust’s estate in Mid and South East Cornwall.

Paul has considerable experience of working in protected landscapes. He was the first manager of the Cornwall Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and previously worked for the Sussex Downs Conservation Board before the South Downs National Park was designated.

Paul said: ‘I am very excited at the prospect of working in the New Forest. It is a very special area, but one that faces a lot of challenges if it is to retain its unique qualities – its natural beauty, remarkable nature conservation interest and cultural heritage. I am particularly looking forward to working with the many people and organisations whose knowledge of the New Forest can help the Environment and Rural Economy team shape the future of the Park.

‘Commoning, farming and woodland management are the critical factors in maintaining the New Forest landscape and habitats. The current New Forest Higher Level Stewardship scheme is the largest in England and a new Rural Development Programme will begin in 2015. We will be working with farmers, land managers, growers and producers to ensure the New Forest benefits from as much support as possible from the programme.’

Paul’s position was created as part of a restructure last year designed in part to put a greater focus on the environment and rural economy and to lead on a £2.9m landscape partnership grant for the New Forest earmarked by the Heritage Lottery Fund and announced last year.


Notes to photo editor:

Paul Walton, New Forest National Park Authority Head of Environment and Rural Economy.

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.

Visit to find out more

Media Contact:

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

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