Dr Gemma Harper OBE and Professor Simon Mortimer were recently appointed by Defra Secretary of State, Thérèse Coffey MP. In addition, Jane MacBean, Councillor for the Chiltern Ridges ward and James Norman, Councillor for Woodcote and Rotherfield ward, were appointed by Buckinghamshire Council and South Oxfordshire District Council, respectively.
The Chilterns Conservation Board plays a pivotal role in safeguarding and enhancing the Chilterns Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB), a region renowned for its stunning landscapes, diverse wildlife and rich cultural heritage. These new appointments underpin the CCB’s continued commitment to protecting and promoting this special landscape.
The new appointees will work collaboratively with the Board’s existing members to help develop and implement strategies that ensure the long-term protection and enjoyment of the Chilterns AONB. Their expertise will be instrumental in addressing the many challenges facing the Chilterns AONB, including climate change, biodiversity loss, and threats from development such as housing and major infrastructure projects.
Dr. Gemma Harper, commented on her new role, saying: “I am really pleased to have been appointed by Defra’s Secretary of State to the Chilterns Conservation Board. The Board has a critical role in safeguarding the distinctive landscape character and natural beauty of the Chilterns Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, increasing public understanding and enjoyment, and fostering the wellbeing of local communities. Passionate about nature and committed to enabling people to live harmoniously with the rest of nature, I look forward to learning about the Chilterns AONB and bringing my experience and skills to provide strategic support to inclusive nature recovery in this special place.”
Prof. Simon Mortimer said: “I’m honoured to have been appointed to the Chilterns Conservation Board. The next few years will see major changes in the ways in which Government policy impacts on our most valuable landscapes, with the roll-out of the Environmental Land Management Scheme, Local Nature Recovery Strategies and Biodiversity Net Gain. Through its work with farmers and landowners, the Board will play a key role in ensuring that these developments will enhance the cherished landscapes of the Chilterns AONB.”
South Oxfordshire Councillor, James Norman, said: “I am pleased to have been appointed to the Chilterns Conservation Board. I have been farming in the Chilterns AONB for 25 years, and I hope to use my commitment to nature conservation and sustainable land use to support the work of the Board throughout the lovely area of the Chilterns.”
Buckinghamshire Councillor, Jane MacBean said: “Having lived in the Chilterns for almost 30 years I have long admired the work of the Board and appreciated its importance. It is an immense pleasure to now be more involved and I look forward to working with colleagues to address key issues and ensure our sustainability and development as we navigate the next 30 years.”
The Chilterns Conservation Board’s Chief Executive, Dr Elaine King, welcomed the new members to the team, saying, “We are thrilled to have our new members on board. With such an extensive range of skills and experiences, I know that they will all make a significant contribution to our work.”