New chief appointed to Peak Park

Sarah Fowler incoming CEO of Peak District National Park
Sarah Fowler incoming CEO of Peak District National Park

A new face is taking the top job at the Peak District National Park Authority.

Sarah Fowler, a senior official from the Environment Agency, will be taking over the role of chief executive for the national park from Jim Dixon.

Sarah – currently head of field services at the Environment Agency – will take over the role at the end of January.

In her career, she has spent almost a decade in roles including regional strategy manager, area manager for East Midlands and midlands director, where she led a team of 1,000 staff protecting and enhancing the environment and reducing flood risk for communities across the East and West Midlands.

As head of field services, a position she has held since April 2014, she leads a team setting standards and providing services to locally based field staff who maintain and operate the Environment Agency’s thousands of flood risk management assets across England.

Prior to joining the Environment Agency, Sarah spent a number of years leading a charity in Peterborough promoting sustainable development, at English Nature (Natural England’s predecessor) and nine years at the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB). She started her career at the Wiltshire Wildlife Trust.

Sarah said: “I am pleased to have been asked to become chief executive of the Peak District National Park Authority.

“Nestling at the heart of the country, the Peak District is a truly inspiring place. I am delighted to be offered the opportunity to lead the dedicated staff of the National Park, who are its guardians. I look forward to hearing from those who live in, work in and visit the National Park for their views on how, together, we can continue to care for this precious place now and for the future.

“I bring absolute passion and commitment for the communities of the Peak District National Park and I believe I bring empathy and awareness of the challenges facing the National Park, given the current public sector financial environment.

“I am looking forward to establishing good working relationships with all the National Park’s partners and am keen to get out and about to meet staff across the 555 square miles it covers.”

Jim Dixon has been chief executive since 2003.

Peak District National Park Authority chairman, Cllr Lesley Roberts, said: “I am delighted to be able to confirm that Sarah will be joining us as the new chief executive. The recruitment process has been rigorous and I am grateful for the work of the panel, staff and our advisors to help us reach this decision which was unanimously agreed by members on Friday 5 December.”