Authority Members Name Jean Davidson as new Chair

The appointment of Davidson follows the addition of Elizabeth Ellis, Policy Project Manager at the National Lottery Heritage Fund and Marie Fallon, former Director of Regulated Industry at the Environment Agency as Secretary of State Members to the Board in July this year.

Davidson, who lives in Kirknewton near Wooler, has been a member of the Park Authority board since 2014 and previously served as Deputy Chair. She is currently Estate Manager for the Westnewton Estate in the north of the National Park.

Davidson said: “I am greatly honoured to have been elected as the Chair of Northumberland National Park Authority. It has been my privilege to be deputy to Glen Sanderson for the last five years. Glen has been an excellent chair and raised the profile of Northumberland National Park both locally in the North East and at a national level.

“I am proud of all that has been achieved since I joined the Northumberland National Park family – from seeing The Sill grow from muddy foundations to an award-winning, truly unique venue for education, engagement and outdoor activities, to seeing our staff and officers thrive and deliver exceptional service.

“National Parks were created for the benefit of the nation’s health, following two world wars, and in the current pandemic we are reminded of this important role. Health and wellbeing is at the heart of our work and we welcome visitors of all ages to enjoy the experience of being at one with nature in this beautiful and tranquil space.

“I look forward to working with our dedicated staff and board members, who all play a vital part in the success of Northumberland National Park. While we have challenging times ahead, I am confident we will get through them with ambition and bravery. Northumberland National Park Authority, together with all the UK National Parks, will play a significant part in the nation’s Green Recovery Plan.”

Tony Gates, CEO of Northumberland National Park said: “We are thrilled to welcome our new members to the Park – especially those with such a passion for heritage, the environment and inclusion. We’re looking forward to working with Elizabeth and Marie to help the Park work towards a green and inclusive recovery over the coming months and years.

“I’m especially excited to welcome Jean at the helm as Chairman of the Authority. In doing so I pay a great tribute to our former Chairman Glen Sanderson who has steered the Authority successfully through some seminal times, including the completion and opening of The Sill National Landscape Discovery Centre.

For the past six years, Jean has worked tirelessly to support the Park during a truly transformative time, and I’m grateful to the work she has done for us so far, and the vision she is now bringing to the role of Chairman.”