New Chair and Deputy Chair elected to lead National Parks England

Author, journalist, and Parish Councillor Andrew McCloy has been announced as the new Chair of National Parks England at their Annual General Meeting.

Andrew was elected for the role by the Chairs of the ten National Parks across England. Andrew is also Chair of the Peak District National Park Authority, a position held since 2011. He succeeds Mike McKinley, who was Chair of National Parks England since June 2020. Mike will continue in his role as Chair for the Lake District National Park.

The AGM also saw the election of Ian Phillips (Chair of South Downs National Park), a landscape architect with a passion for the natural environment, as the Deputy Chair.

National Parks England is the umbrella organisation that brings together the nine English National Park Authorities and the Broads Authority. It exists to support policy and practice by providing a collective and expert voice for the views of the English National Park Authorities, raising the profile of their work, facilitating discussion on issues of common concern, and working in partnership with other bodies.

Andrew said: “I’m passionate about National Parks and proud of the work we do across the country to look after these special landscapes for everyone.

“We have a duty to protect these iconic landscapes, to ensure they become beacons for a sustainable future, where nature and people flourish.

“Our most fundamental challenge is around the climate emergency, ensuring we work to restore nature and build back greener. We recognise that we cannot do this alone, and we will continue to work collaboratively with our partners to meet this challenge.

“I am very much looking forward to working with each of the National Park Authorities to achieve our vision. I would also like to thank my predecessor Mike McKinley for his steadfast work as Chair during one of the most pivotal times for National Parks England, and indeed the nation, in the face of Brexit, the Climate Change emergency, and notably, the Covid-19 pandemic.”

The Chair and Deputy Chair are key strategic roles, guiding National Parks England’s priorities and aspirations, maintaining political links, and supporting National Park Authorities work in partnership with local communities, landowners and a range of other organisations and interest groups, including thousands of volunteers, to look after these special places for everyone.