New member for National Park Authority

Longslade. Credit Barry Whitcher

Published Wednesday 17 January 2018

The New Forest National Park Authority welcomes a new member to help shape the future of the organisation.

The Authority has 22 members with overall responsibility for making decisions. There are 12 members appointed by the county, district and borough councils with land within the National Park. Six are appointed by the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs. Four are selected from parish councils within the National Park.

Secretary of State appointee David Bence replaces Russell Wynn who was in post from April 2016 until June 2017.

New member david bence

David has been visiting the New Forest since childhood and is now a regular cyclist and responsible dog walker to the National Park. He comes to the Authority after a full and varied 30 year career in the Royal Navy. Privileged to have Commanded at all levels, David has worked across the full spectrum of Maritime and Joint Operations and has gained a unique insight into Central Government crisis and consequence management (COBR). 

He is also a qualified scuba diving instructor with a love of the outdoors and nature. David is passionate about conserving our natural flora and fauna and the rural way of life.

David Bence, from Meon Valley, Hampshire, said: ‘I am delighted and humbled to have been appointed to the New Forest National Park Authority. I very much look forward to playing my part in the continued success of the Authority in conserving valuable and internationally recognised habitat and biodiversity, promoting enjoyment of the Forest and a rural way of life, as well representing the views of the Forest’s local communities.’

Authority members set policies and priorities, ensure efficient and effective use of resources, and make sure that money is well spent. It is their job to represent the interests of the National Park and to balance out any conflicting pressures.


Notes to Editor:

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:
Beki Mole, Communications Assistant 
New Forest National Park Authority 
Tel: 01590 646639

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