Peter Nicholson Remembered
The staff and members of Northumberland National Park Authority mourn the death of Authority member and colleague, Peter Nicholson, who died on Tuesday 4th September 2012. He was much loved and valued, and will be sadly missed.
Peter joined the board of Northumberland National Park Authority in April 2003 as a national appointment made by the Secretary of State. An active man all his life, he began his career in the armed forces and, after his commission, spent many years sharing his skills and love of the outdoors as teacher and guide to young people. Sailing, skiing and mountain climbing were particular passions.
As a resident of Blyth and having been brought-up in Berwick-upon-Tweed, Peter understood the value and benefits of national parks to nearby communities.
He worked tirelessly for Northumberland National Park and its residents and businesses as a member and more recently Chair of the Authority’s Sustainable Development Fund Grants Panel; supporting communities and enterprises to set up practical solutions for sustainable development, persuading partners to make the National Park easier to use and arguing for more opportunities for young people in particular to enjoy the National Park.
Peter was a man of integrity, unafraid to challenge the common opinion. He truly believed the countryside was for everyone and, in recent years, serving as the Authority’s member link to the Campaign for National Parks he worked hard to promote their MOSAIC programme to encourage people of ethnic minorities to experience and enjoy our best landscapes. He was also a firm supporter of the Northumberland Joint Local Access Forum and became a great ally in their work. With his great sense of humour and ready chuckle which broke down barriers and put complete strangers at ease, he made many friends in all walks of life who will miss him.
The Chairman of the National Park Authority, Cllr John Riddle, commented: “Peter was a very good Authority Member; a great asset and an excellent advocate in breaking down any barriers between town and country. He thoroughly enjoyed, and engaged in, many national National Park conferences and workshops. His energy and enthusiasm never wained. He was a real gentleman.”
Staff of the National Park and partners who worked with Peter praised his ‘kindness and love of people’, his ‘zest for life and enthusiasm’, an ‘all round lovely man’. They said of him that he was: ‘more of a friend than a work colleague’; ‘always on your side’; approachable with a great sense of humour and outlook on life - the Authority has lost a really good advocate and friend’.
Tony Gates, Chief Executive of the National Park Authority, added: “Peter gave generously of his time and of himself in his work for Northumberland National Park. His role was to take a national interest on behalf of the Secretary of State, in reality Peter always took time to understand and respect all interests. Peter had a strong belief in what experiencing nature and challenge can do for people, especially young people and there was a lot that the not so young could also learn from Peter’s approach and outlook. Enduring memories will be of a fair and honest man, with a ready smile, a good story to tell and someone who always made the job of work fun. He will be sadly missed.”