Peak District body appoints new faces

Have your say

A key Peak District body has appointed three new faces to help shape decisions which affect the future of the area’s countryside.

The Peak District National Park Authority has welcomed Stella McGuire and Emma Sayer, who were appointed for their expertise in national park issues by Defra Secretary of State Owen Paterson.

Derbyshire Council has also chosen Coun Paul Smith to ‘add a more local perspective’ to the body’s workings.

Stella McGuire’s expertise is in cultural heritage. An archaeologist by training, she has been a consultant in conservation planning, and has worked on Peak District sites and landscapes including Gardom’s Edge, Fin Cop near Monsal Head, and at Castleton. She now coordinates, as a volunteer, the monitoring of thousands of cultural heritage features across the Eastern Moors.

She said: “I’d love to share with people an awareness of the incredible richness of national park landscapes.

“The more we find out, the more we understand how past generations have shaped our landscapes, villages and towns, and the challenge is to ensure that their special qualities are there to be appreciated by future generations.”

Emma Sayer heads the Heritage Lottery Fund East Midlands and is a former army intelligence officer who served in Kosovo, Northern Ireland, Iraq, Saudi Arabia and Bosnia-Hercegovina.

On leaving the army Emma joined English Nature where she led the North East’s response to the foot-and-mouth crisis in 2000-2001 and later became external funding development manager for England.

She said: “I first got to know the Peak District National Park in the 1990s while at the University of Nottingham.

“I have a particular interest in industrial heritage and environmental education, and in my spare time I enjoy the many activities the park has to offer to families – my 15-month-old daughter is already a veteran of the Tissington and Monsal trails.”

Coun Paul Smith said: “I’ve always had an interest in the Peak District – living so close at hand I’ve visited many times with my children, and now grandchildren.

“I hope to contribute the benefit of my experience, particularly in planning, to the long term future of the national park.”

Tony Favell, chairman of the authority, said: “We are delighted to welcome these three new Members to the Authority. Their special interests, talents and experience can only be good for this wonderful national park and the people who live and work here or those who come to visit.”