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Exciting opportunity to steer the strategic direction of the South Downs as national competition opens

Exciting opportunity to steer the strategic direction of the South Downs as national competition opens

An exciting opportunity has come up to help lead the direction of the South Downs National Park.

Defra is looking to hear from people who would like to become a Member of the Board at the South Downs National Park Authority.

It comes at an important time for National Parks as they help to lead the UK’s nature recovery and climate change efforts, as well as connect people to the great outdoors.

This national appointment will make up one of 27 Members who contribute to the leadership, scrutiny, and direction of the South Downs National Park Authority and further our statutory purposes.

The statutory purposes are to:

  • Conserve and enhance the natural beauty, wildlife and cultural heritage.
  • Promote opportunities for the understanding and enjoyment of the special qualities of National Parks by the public.

When National Park authorities carry out these purposes, they also have the duty to seek to foster the economic and social well-being of local communities within the National Parks.

Vanessa Rowlands, Chair of the South Downs National Park Authority, said:

“This year we’re looking for a new Member to join our Board. The South Downs is the third largest National Park in England and we’re the closest National Park to London and the cities of Brighton and Portsmouth on the south coast.

“We have 2.6m people living within 10km of the National Park and we want our Board to truly reflect the diversity of the population in the South East and across England. National Parks were designated for the nation and we believe reflecting the nation on our Board will make for better decision-making. National Parks are about the landscape and nature, but they’re also about the communities that live in and around them. We want more people to experience the countryside and understand the benefits that brings for our health and wellbeing.”

Thérèse Coffey, Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, said: “As a Secretary of State member, you will help to identify new opportunities to achieve the Government’s commitment to protect 30% of our land by 2030, and our net zero target. You will also have an important role in championing diversity and inclusion, particularly identifying ways to improve access to our protected landscapes by all parts of society.

“These landscapes belong to everyone, so we need National Park Authorities and Conservation Boards that reflect our nation.

“Delivering these ambitious goals requires passionate and committed people across the protected landscapes family. In recognition of this need, I am seeking enthusiastic and dedicated strategic thinkers who will proudly serve the protected landscapes to ensure they are conserved and enhanced for future generations. Each protected landscape is unique: we require members who can respect local needs while encouraging a coordinated and collaborative approach to national objectives.”

The deadline for applications is 20 February. For more details and to apply visit https://publicappointments.cabinetoffice.gov.uk/appointment/secretary-of-state-members-to-national-park-authorities-and-aonb-conservation-boards/