MBE awarded to former Peak District National Park member

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A former member and committee chair of the Peak District National Park Authority, has received an MBE in the Queen’s birthday honours list.

Christopher Pennell received the honour for his services to heritage in the East Midlands, which includes much of the Peak District National Park.

The sixty-seven-year-old chaired the authority’s Audit Resources and Performance Committee for three years, from July 2011 to July 2014 and was the deputy chair of Moors for the Future. He was appointed to the authority by the secretary of state in 2005.

In his roles, Christopher played a key role in protecting the national park landscape and safeguarding its natural beauty for people to enjoy.

He said: “I was really pleased when I heard about it and feel very honoured to have received the MBE from Her Majesty the Queen herself.

“It felt doubly pleasing to receive this award, first, because it is a terrific personal endorsement from my former colleagues in the built and natural heritage world, and also because it shows that, after a long industrial career, it is possible to successfully reinvent yourself in a new environmental career.”

A former National Trust director for the East Midlands and board member of Natural England, Christopher also chaired the Heritage Lottery Fund’s East Midlands Committee for six years. Prior to these roles he was a top manager in the coal industry for 28 years.

Christopher, who lives close to the National Park border on the edge of Sheffield, is currently a trustee of Sheffield and Rotherham Wildlife Trust and a supporter of CPRE and Friends of the Peak District.