Access & Recreation Consultant
For six years I chaired the Peak District Local Access Forum and during that time was a member of the newly-formed England Access Forum, under the auspices of Natural England. I’m currently an elected member and committee chair on the Peak District National Park Authority, where I’m regularly involved in strategic planning and decision-making covering a range of issues across the busy national park. Locally, I’m a serving parish councillor and school governor.
Recently I have collaborated with leading ecologists Baker Consultants on a number of projects for private sector clients, including new housing and leisure developments. Typically it’s entailed detailed survey work, consultation and analysis in order to come up with innovative solutions that, on the one hand, deliver new recreational opportunities and promote sustainable development, and on the other mitigate against any negative environmental impacts.
Complementing my consultancy work, I also write about recreation and countryside issues for various publications, as well as producing a number of books on walking and the outdoors. These include the story of the Pennine Way, Britain’s first and most famous long distance footpath, a book of walks exploring Roman Britain, a guide to the Land’s End to John o’Groats journey and a social history of public houses in the Peak District. I’ve also written about coastal walking for national publications like the Guardian; preserving historic rights of way for the Ramblers’ Walk magazine; long distance trail walking for The Great Outdoors monthly magazine; and contributed articles on the likes of housing and neighbourhood planning for the Campaign to Protect Rural England’s membership publication Countryside Voice.