Board Members

The Cotswolds Conservation Board is made up of 37 members who all take part in making key decisions that directly affect the Cotswolds AONB.

Members gather at Board, Executive and Sub-Committee meetings across the year and are drawn from three tiers of regional government to ensure that a fair and broad range of views and areas of expertise are reflected.  Of the 37 members, 15 are nominated by local authorities, eight by parish councils and 14 are appointed by government.

Jo Barker

Appointed by Warwickshire County Council

Jo is a mum, a politician, carer and full-time business woman.

She is the 5th generation to manage their ever evolving business – from farming, to haulage of coal, to property today – moving with the times and adapting as rural life changes.

She has a professional interest in geomorphology and climate change, having studied for a PhD in these fields.

Memberships / Advisory Positions: Warwickshire Country Council, Stratford District Council, F.R.G.S.

David Broad

Appointed by Chedworth Parish Council

Lived in Chedworth since 1956. Educated at St Andrew’s School Chedworth, Bourton Vale and Westwoods Grammar School Northleach. Worked in Northleach and Chedworth. Trained as motor mechanic and auto electrician. Worked as courier throughout the Cotswolds. Member of Chedworth Parish Council since 1991. Honorary Alderman Cotswold District Council. Chairman of Chedworth Village Hall Committee. Member of Chedworth Silver Band since 1967, Conductor since 1995. Writes for local newspapers. Arranges and publishes music. Interests include photography, recording rural life, railway preservation, motorcycles.

Committees:  Executive Committee; Grants Sub-Committee

Andrew Clark

Appointed by Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs

Secretary of State appointee 1st April 2008 – 31st March 2014; re-appointed to 31st March 2017 Director of Policy at National Farmers Union, Stoneleigh. Specialism: Agriculture, environmental land management, landscape protection. Chartered Landscape Architect – landscape management.

Read more about Andrew at Linked in

Committee: Conserving & Managing Sub-Committee


Diane Crone

Appointed by the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs

Diane is a Professor in Exercise Science at the University of Gloucestershire and has lived and worked in Cheltenham for the last 15 years. Her work involves supporting the design, delivery and evaluation of health promoting interventions in primary and secondary health care, and in the community. Much of her work is undertaken with health professionals, local government officers and third sector organisations, and as a consequence has specific application to practice. This work is used regularly in the development of evidence based practice for these organisations. As a consequence of this she has published internationally in the areas of exercise referral scheme evaluation, mental health promotion, and in physical activity pathway intervention evaluations. She has presented at national and international conferences, in both English and Spanish.

Significant highlights include obtaining her PhD in 2002 and Professorship in 2012; co-authored a book published in 2009 Dugdill, L., Crone, D. and Murphy, R. (2009). Physical Activity and Health Promotion: Evidenced-based Approaches to Practice. London: Wiley-Blackwell Publishing Ltd…..

She spends her spare time on a tennis court (Cheltenham Civil Service Tennis Club Ladies A team), on a bike, both mountain and road, hiking, or travelling, particularly Spain.

Twitter: @profdicrone

Read more about Diane at Linked in

Matthew Darby

Appointed by Bredon & Bredon’s Norton Parish Council

Parish Councillor for Bredon & Bredon’s Norton. Owns and manages the Kemerton Estate in the north-west Cotswolds. Experience in nature conservation, farming and forestry, town planning, landscape history, and the charitable sector.

Current voluntary roles include: National Trust Midlands – Regional Advisory Board (2012-), Natural Environment Strategy Board (2013-2015), Land Outdoors and Nature Board (2015-); Wychavon District Council Rural Advisory Panel (2015-); founder-governor of Kemerton Conservation Trust (1989-); director of (Tewkesbury) Anney Lawn Trust (2012-); trustee of The Iris Darnton Foundation for conservation (2004-); Croome Court Appeal Committee (2009-); secretary, Bredon Parish Neighbourhood Plan Committee (2015-); secretary, Bredon Village Design Statement Committee (2010-2011); secretary, Kemerton VDS Committee (2010-11).

Read more about Matthew at Linked In

Committee: Conserving & Managing Sub-Committee

Elizabeth Eyre : Chairman

Appointed by Worcestershire County Council

Liz, BA Hons York, Biological Sciences, started her career with Beecham Research Laboratories. She then gained experience in the City. Post Articles she became a senior Lloyds insurances and commercial auditor. She joined Xerox heading up their management accounts/capital projects section. Working for a range of Blue Chip companies, she has managed projects, worked in presales and sales, new product development, headed up a contract departments and IT support operations both in the UK and Germany.

Post retirement she stood for elected office as a County Councillor in Worcestershire. Initially Vice-Chairman of Resources, she became Cabinet Member for Children and Families in 2002. For 13 years she served as Cabinet Member with the Children’s portfolio: Social Care and Education. She has also served as Vice-Chairman of Worcestershire’s Overview and Scrutiny Performance Board. She received her BEM for services to the public in 2016.

Liz, a previous partnership member joined the Cotswolds Conservation Board in 2004. She was its Vice-Chairman for 5 years, and is now Chairman. She is a passionate biologist, ecologist and walker.

Other positions: Chairman of the Rural Panel Wychavon, Chairman of Wychavon, Vice Chairman Broadway Museum and Art Gallery, Trustee of the Local Authority Mutual Investment Trust (LAMIT), Trustee Thomas Hodges Foundation.

twitter: @eeyre

Read more about Liz at Linked In

Committees: Executive Committee (Chairman); Cotswolds Destination Management Organisation; Cotswolds Discovery Centre Partnership Board

Stephen Gray

Appointed by Stratford on Avon District Council

Retired. District Councillor, Stratford-on-Avon District Council, Long Compton ward.

Committee: Grants Sub-Committee

Mollie Groom

Appointed by Wiltshire Council

Specialist knowledge or interests: Member of CPRE and National Trust

Membership of/advisory positions with other organisations: Chairman: Studley Grange Liaison Group

Committee: Conserving & Managing Sub-Committee

Adrian Hardman

Appointed by Wychavon District Council

Adrian Hardman was first elected to Worcestershire County Council in March 2000 and became Leader of the County Council in November 2010.  He was Cabinet Member for Finance from 2001 to present and has represented the County in a series of roles during his public service.

He lives in rural South Worcestershire on the edge of the Cotswold AONB and before becoming a full time Leader of the County Council had a career which spanned agriculture, the drinks industry and in the last years of his working life, the BBC.  He is particularly interested not only in Finance and Exchange Rates but in also biodiversity and attempting to grow organic vegetables.

Elizabeth Hodges

Appointed by Chipping Campden Town Council

Farmer/Agricultural Contractors.Town Councillor, Chipping Campden Town Council. Town Trustee Chipping Campden Town Trust, Vice Chmn Gloucestershire Association of Parish & Town Councils.
Specialism: Food Microbiolist (ret’d), Agriculture ,
Director Cotswold Edge Enterprise Ltd,
Member FeRN-uk,

Committees: Living & Working Sub-Committee; Cotswolds LEADER Executive Group

Ann Holland

Appointed by Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs

Ann read Geography and Biology at Liverpool University, taking the first specialist Conservation Course in her final year. Her teaching career included Geography teaching in Cheshire, Liverpool and London , Head of Department and Deputy Headteacher in North London,a Second Deputy Headship in Dorset on the Isle of Purbeck and sixteen years as Principal of The Cotswold School in Bourton on the Water, from 1995 to 31st December 2011.

Under her leadership the school grew from 600 to 1230 pupils, with from 1999 Outstanding Exam Results , which coupled with the impressive ethos and wide ranging extra curricular programme , made the School extremely popular for families in the North and Central Cotswolds. They built over £20 million worth of new buildings, with funding from a variety of sources and had three Outstanding OFSTED reports (2001,2006,2009), the last two with Outstanding across all features.

Since retirement from The Cotswold School , Ann has joined the Cotswold Wardens, walked the Cotswold Way, become a Governor at her two local Primary Schools, joined The Pavilionnaires Jazz Group ,as a founder member, playing keyboard, developed a small Educational Consultancy and volunteered at Hidcote and Chastleton. Her hobbies include singing with The Stour Singers and Church Choir, playing Bridge and learning Italian and Latin.

She lives in Cherington where she enjoys walking.

Read more about Ann at Linked in

Nick Holliday : Vice-Chairman

Appointed by Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs

Secretary of State appointee 1st April 2008 – 31st March 2014. Re-appointed until March 2018. Formerly a Director with the Commission for Rural Communities and previously worked as Regional Director for the SW for Countryside Commission and the Countryside Agency. Currently a Secretary of State appointee, and Vice Chairman, to Exmoor National Park Authority. Specialism: Strategy and business planning, change management, countryside conservation, recreation, rural tourism and community engagement and development. Director of the National Association of Aonbs; Trustee of the campaign for National Parks; Trustee of Gloucestershire CPRE and member of Stroud CPRE district committee; Ordinary member of the National Trust and Exmoor Society.

Read more about Nick at Linked in

Committees: Executive Committee (Vice Chairman); Grants Sub-Committee (Chairman); Enjoying & Appreciating Sub-Committee; Cotswolds Discovery Centre Partnership Board

Sue Hope

Appointed by South Gloucestershire Council

Councillor, South Gloucestershire Council. Spokesperson on Health.  Member of Health & Community Care & Housing Select Committee.  Member of Hawkesbury Parish Council.

Committee: Executive Committee

Nicholas Hurst

Appointed by Stroud District Council

Specialist knowledge & interests: archaeology, wide understanding of the historic built environment.

Membership of/advisory positions with other organisations: Chairman of Minchinhampton Parish Council; Stroud District Councillor; Director Gloucestershire Rural Housing Association.

Committee: Living & Working Sub-Committee

Peter Jones

Appointed by Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs.

Prior to moving to Cheltenham in 2015 Peter lived in West Oxfordshire for over 25 years.

Peter holds a BSc in Physics and has worked in the technology sector for over 30 years.  Prior to moving to Cheltenham and starting his own technology company Peter spent five years working in California.

Peters’ interest include Innovation and how entrepreneurship can flourish in rural areas, Industrial History and Economics.

A keen hiker, Peter tries to spend as much time as possible outdoors either hiking, gardening, playing golf or watching rugby.

Committee: Cotswolds LEADER Executive Group

Simon King

Appointed by Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs

Simon King has over 30 years’ experience of practical agriculture, education and training as Director of Business Development at the Royal Agricultural University. Simon is an experienced project manager with Institution responsibility for business and community support, in particular management and quality control of capital projects and new strategic developments.  Experience also includes leading change and reorganisation within the University sector with a focus on income generation and enterprise.

Other positions held: Trustee of Gloucestershire Rural Community Council and Gloucestershire Sub-committee member of the European Structural Investment Fund.

Read more about Simon at: Linked in

George Lambrick

Appointed by Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs

Secretary of State Appointee April 2014. Archaeologist: Oxford Archaeology 1974-1997; Director  Council British Archaeology 1999-2004; Chairman Rollright 1997 – present.  Heritage Consultant; Prehistory of the Thames Valley and flooding; Historic Landscape Characterisation; conserving archaeology in arable; Environmental Assessments (major infrastructure  to housing and strategic; setting of heritage assets; professional training in heritage (especially environmental setting); relationship of wildlife, heritage and landscape.

Committees: Living & Working Sub-Committee; Friends of the Cotswolds

Ed Macalister-Smith

Appointed by Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs

Secretary of State Appointee. From 1st April 2013 – 31st March 2019.  Ed and his wife Rosemary live within the AONB boundary in Long Compton, Warks.

Ed has retired after a career in senior roles in the NHS and in the third sector, covering Oxford, Wiltshire, and Bath & North East Somerset. He continues his interest in the NHS as a Non-Executive Director at University Hospitals Coventry and Warwickshire, and with the National Institute for Health Research.  He also trained as a community first responder for his village with West Midlands Ambulance Service.  Ed is an occasional voluntary Cotswold Warden.


Ed is a keen gardener, and has planted an orchard at his home. His original training was in land use with a BSc from Wye College, London University, and an MSc in Forestry from Oxford University.

Read more about Ed at Linked in

Committees: Executive Committee; Living & Working Sub-Committee

Mark MacKenzie-Charrington

Appointed by Cotswold District Council

Mark moved to Gloucestershire in 2000 having lived and worked in London most of his life but was brought up in East Sussex.  Formerly a partner in residential estate agents W.A.Ellis (now part of JLL). Mark retired in 2009 after 34 years, the majority of which time he ran the Development & Investment Department with the work almost exclusively in either a Conservation Area and or dealing with Listed Properties.   In May 2016 Mark was appointed to the Cabinet of the Cotswold District Council – portfolio responsibilities for Development Control, Heritage & Conservation, Cirencester Car Parking Improvements.

Other involvements: Former Council member of the Westminster Property Association; Founding Governor of Finton House School, Tooting SW17; Vice-chairman of Board of Governors to Shiplake Collage, Henley on Thames, Oxon; Vice-chairman of Little Rissington Parish Council, Gloucestershire; Elected as Cotswold District Councillor for The Rissingtons ward in May 2015, serving on the Planning & Licencing Committee.

Read more about Mark at Linked in

Charles Mathew

Appointed by Oxfordshire County Council

A member of Oxfordshire County Council since 2006, where he is also a member of the North Wessex Downs Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty Partnership

As a qualified accountant, Charles’ career has been based on supporting industry on the UK mainland and in Europe. He has lived in Stanton Harcourt for over thirty years and has a lifelong interest in the country and matters archaeological.

Committee: Conserving & Managing Sub-Committee

John Matthews

Appointed by Sherston Parish Council

John Matthews is Chairman of Sherston Parish Council and a Parish representative on the Cotswold Conservation Board. John’s background is in farming. They have converted the majority of their buildings into offices and workshops providing some 100 local jobs. He is President of the Wiltshire Branch of the Country Land and Business Association and a Council Member of the Royal Agricultural Society of England. He is also a Director of Wiltshire Enterprise, part of the Wiltshire and Swindon LEP, leading on Rural Business with specific input into the Food and Drink Sector and Rural Broadband.
Sherston is a front runner for Wiltshire for a Neighbourhood Plan.

Committees: Living & Working Sub-Committee (Vice Chairman); Cotswolds LEADER Executive Group

Brendan McCarthy

Appointed by Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs

Following three years at the Royal Agricultural College, Brendan qualified as a Chartered Surveyor and Agricultural Valuer, and spent the majority of his career at the National Trust, including some 14 years as a Regional Director, covering two regions, with Gloucestershire and the Cotswolds at their heart.

Until recently, he was the Chief Executive of the Old Royal Naval College in London, where he also chaired the Maritime Greenwich World Heritage Site and was a non-executive director of the Destination Management Company.  He’s currently a Trustee of the National Trust Pension Fund.

Over the years he has also been involved in helping to develop conservation policies in Europe, Scandinavia, Australia, New Zealand and Bermuda.

Read more about Brendan at Linked in

Tony Merry

Appointed by Charlbury Parish Council

Interested in rural skills, blacksmithing, dry stone walling, cider making. Voluntary Warden, Hon Sec Charlbury Walkers are welcome. Keen interest in local history and listed sites.

Parish Council nominee from Charlbury Town Council. Responsibilities include sluice gate control on Evenlode, verge maintenance, Charlbury Corner House Trustee and Corner House Future sub-committee, Charlbury Day Centre Trustee, representative of Friend of Charlbury Library.

On Executive Committee of the Board for last year.

Other positions held: Councillor Charlbury Town Council, Walkers are Welcome, Royal Society of Chemistry, Oxford Diocedsan Guild of Bell ringers.

Committees: Executive Committee; Enjoying & Appreciating Sub-Committee

Mark O'Sullivan

Appointed by Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs

Secretary of State appointee: 1 June 2011 – present.  Retired civil servant in Defra and predecessors, and in the Scottish Office. Member of Rural Economy Sector Group, Visitor Economy Sector Group and SME Group in West of England Local Enterprise Partnership. Member of Committee of Federation of Bath Residents’ Associations. Lately board member of Association of Business Psychologists. Sometime officer of Nature Conservancy Council for Scotland, and of Cambridgeshire County Council. Resident in Bath. Editor of ‘The Environmental Impact of the Wreck of the Braer‘, and ‘Engaging School Leaders: a guide to keeping talented Leaders Engaged‘; author of ‘Britanniae‘ (novel) and ‘What Works at Work‘.

Specialisms:  environment, education, management.

Read more about Mark at Linked in

Committees: Executive Committee; Conserving & Managing Sub-Committee (Vice Chairman); Living & Working Sub-Committee;

Venerable Hedley Ringrose

Appointed by Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs

As Archdeacon of Cheltenham from 1998 to 2009 Hedley worked closely with the Gloucestershire Cotswolds communities particularly in the maintenance, restoration, conservation and development of church buildings, both as places of continued prayer and worship, but also as centres of community activity and as attractions for visitors. Prior to that he was Vicar of Cirencester for ten years. Since retiring from full time work he has served as an Acting Archdeacon in the Diocese of Bristol, which covers North Wiltshire and as Interim Archdeacon of Oxford so that he has a reasonable knowledge of the whole area of the Cotswolds AONB. He has also been closely involved in education and is currently a governor of two schools. Now living in Calne, Wiltshire, with his wife, a retired teacher, he enjoys spending time with grandchildren, family and friends. Other interests include gardening, cycling, travel, reading and a small amount of DIY.

Committee: Grants Sub-Committee

Daniel Szor

Appointed by Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs

Daniel is the founder and CEO of the Cotswolds Distillery, the first-ever full-scale distillery within the Cotswolds AONB, and the creator of premium spirits such as Cotswolds Dry Gin and Cotswolds Single Malt Whisky.

Daniel was born in New York and lived in Paris and London during a 30-year career in the financial markets before moving full-time to the Cotswolds to become a distiller.

Daniel has a bachelor’s degree from Tufts University in the USA, as has attended the Advanced Management Programme at INSEAD in France.

The main focus of Daniel’s career has been in sales and marketing. Given his experience in creating a “destination distillery” which now ranks as the #1 attraction in the Cotswolds, he has a keen interest in the creation and promotion of sustainable high-value tourism in the Cotswolds and in creating durable local employment.

Other positions held: Member of Worshipful Company of Distillers and sits on the board of the Gin Guild.

Read more about Daniel at: Linked in

David Thackray

Appointed by Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs

Dr David Thackray has worked in Archaeology and Heritage Management since joining the National Trust in 1975. He retired in 2012 as its Head of Archaeology.  He has particular interests in building and landscape conservation. David is a member of ICOMOS and was President of ICOMOS UK and Chair of its World Heritage Committee. He is also a member of Europa Nostra and a committee member of Eurtopa Nostra UK. David is a member of the Gloucester Diocesan Advisory committee for the Care of Churches and a member of the Church Building Council.  David also chairs the Richard Jefferies Museum Trust in Swindon, where he is Vice Chair of the Swindon Heritage Board. He lives in Minchinhampton, where he is member of the Market House Management Committee. David has recently become a member of the Company of Proprietors of the Stroudwater Canal. His interests include archaeology, local history, landscape management, conservation as well as music, walking and wildlife.

Secretary of State Appointee April 2014. Worked in Heritage Management since 1975 when David joined the National Trust as its first professional archaeologist. Retired from the Trust in 2012 as Head of Archaeology.

Read more about David at Linked in

Committee: Enjoying & Appreciating Sub-Committee

Richard Wakeford

Appointed by Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs

Richard Wakeford is currently Visiting Professor of Land Use and Sustainable Rural Development at Birmingham City University. His earlier roles include public service as Chair of the OECD Rural Working Party, Head of the Scottish Government’s Environment and Rural Affairs Department and Chief Executive of the Countryside Agency.

Resident in Winchcombe, Richard enjoys the countryside from a mountain bike and engages in rural development and land use research. He is an Honorary Life Member of the Royal Town Planning Institute and a Trustee at the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors Research Trust.

Twitter: @Ruralstrategist

Read more about Richard at Linked in

Committees: Executive Committee; Conserving & Managing Sub-Committee (Chairman)

Simon Wheeler

Appointed by Cheltenham Borough Council

Simon has lived in Cheltenham since 1968 and was elected Mayor in 2014, having been a borough councillor for 12 years. He began his career in catering and then switched to industry when he joined Sapa Profiles and where he remained for 37 years. He is married to Sandra, has two grown-up children and is a keen landscape photographer, walker and member of the Ramblers.

Committee: Enjoying & Appreciated Sub-Committee

Penny Williamson

(Due to retire end December 2017)

Appointed by Hinton Charterhouse Parish Council

Penny runs a rare breeds small holding and AA 5 star-rated holiday rental on the site of a 14th century Cathusian monastery near Bath.

She previously worked in London for 25 years organising events in the UK and abroad, and now enjoys running courses/events here with groups including The Avon Wildlife Trust, Somerset Smallholders Assoc., Historic England and Bath Natural History Society.

Penny is honoured to serve upon the local parish council (Flood Representative and Planning Committee) and the UK Council of the American Museum in Britain.

She is passionate about the delicate balance between preservation of the countryside and sensible change and development, believing strongly in the importance of aesthetic and functional design in utilising urban space and rural land and in the crucial juxtaposition of human habitation and fragile ecologies.

Qualifications: BSc in Geography/Anthropology and a Graduate Diploma in Law.

Membership: Somerset Vernacular Buildings Register, NFU, Bath Preservation Trust, BRISL, RBST, Zwartbles Society, Army & Navy Club, ROH Friends.

Committee:  Cotswolds Discovery Centre Partnership Board

Roger Wilson

Appointed by Gloucestershire County Council

A member of Gloucestershire County Council for Winchcombe and Woodmancote. A chartered accountant, Roger sits on the Health and Care Overview and Scrutiny Committee as well as the Audit and Governance Committee.

Roger has lived in the Cotswolds most of his life and has always had a keen interest in rural affairs, in particular the maintenance of flourishing communities. He has recently been involved in starting a national charity helping to educate children about the countryside. He recently retired from farming sheep on the hills above Winchcombe.

Committees: Grants Sub-Committee (Vice Chairman); Enjoying & Appreciating Sub-Committee