Peak Park boss to step down after seven years

The chief executive of the Peak District National Park Authority is to leave her role after seven years.

Friday, 24th December 2021, 3:03 pm
Sarah Fowler, Chief Executive of the Peak District National Park Authority, is to leave the role in March after seven years

Sarah Fowler will remain in post until March 4, 2022 before taking up a new role as chief executive at the Wildfowl and Wetlands Trust.

Andrea McCaskie, the authority’s head of law, legal and democratic services will act as interim chief executive from March, while the recruitment process for a new CEO takes place.

During her time at the National Park, Ms Fowler has led for the ten English National Parks on their nature recovery work, developing ambitious plans to meet the government’s targets on tackling biodiversity loss, chaired a coalition of partners across the north in ambitious plans to restore 92 per cent of England’s upland peatland, and helped to develop the acclaimed National Parks Experience Collection that showcases high quality sustainable tourism offers from businesses across the National Parks.

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She said: “I have had an incredibly enjoyable seven years working alongside colleagues, volunteers and our members to care for the UK’s original national park.

“The Peak District is a place of exceptional and extraordinary landscapes and at its heart, wonderful heritage and varied communities that live, work and come to enjoy this place.

“Through my time at the National Park I have seen the value of connection with the natural world and the invaluable role of national parks in inspiring everyone to care – connecting with nature is absolutely essential for our wellbeing and our future.

“I will take with me a real sense that the role of caring for the Peak District’s extraordinary landscape – its natural beauty, natural and cultural heritage and communities – is not about a passive, defensive care, it’s a more nurturing, enhancing and forward looking care where we care for the future as much as the past.”

Authority chair Andrew McCloy added: “We are very grateful for the professionalism and hard work that Sarah has put in over the last seven years, especially in the way that she led the response of the Peak District National Park in the face of funding cuts and a global pandemic.

“Sarah’s contribution on behalf of National Parks at a national level has also been immense.”