Trustees

Chairman: Heather Garnett

Heather has lived and worked in Nidderdale AONB for 40 years. She is a founder member of the 'Friends', a committed conservationist and former sheep and beef cattle farmer. In the 1990s she studied for a BA in the History of the Fine & Decorative Arts and followed this with an MA in Country House Studies. After 12 years as a North Yorkshire County Councillor, Heather retired in May 2013 and as Chairman of the AONB Joint Advisory Committee. She relishes the opportunity to devote more time to the AONB through the Friends. She is responsible for the overall managements of the organisation and represents Friends in the wider environment.

Vice Chairman and Director of Finance: David Portlock

David is a retired accountant who is closely involved in community activities, including being Chair of the Governing Body of his local Primary School and a Parish Councillor. David and his wife are strong believers in conservation and self-sufficiency, which includes (weather permitting) growing their own fruit and vegetables. David is responsible for financial and corporate governance matters for Friends.

Secretary: Peter Harling

Peter is a retired chartered engineer. He spent 35 years overseas as an engineering consultant in the oil/gas and utility industry. He now lives in the AONB and is passionate about looking after Nidderdale AONB and the surrounding areas for future generations. As a trustee Peter is responsible for data recording, procedures and promoting Firm Friends, the corporate membership scheme.

Trustee: Pru Robertson

Pru and her family have lived in Nidderdale for about 30 years. She is an experienced researcher and market strategist and founded the Leeds based research company RBA of which she was MD for 10 years. Pru’s voluntary roles have included being a member of the Independent Monitoring Board of HMP Leeds (Armley Jail) as well as a volunteering as a Samaritan. She is using her skills for the Friends to develop the membership database and a recruitment plan

Trustee: Sally Wilson

Sally worked for the AONB for several years as Heritage Officer, before leaving to work for English Heritage in 2015. Initially Sally studied BSc Heritage Conservation and followed this with a MSc in Heritage Interpretation. Her love for Nidderdale started when out walking and cycling, and she has a lifelong love for World Heritage Site, Fountains Abbey and Studley Royal in the AONB. As a trustee Sally has an overview and provides advice on all heritage issues.

Trustee: Neal Topham

Neal worked for Defra for 16 years across the Yorkshire Dales. As a team leader he was involved in a range of initiatives from the delivery of agri-environment schemes to the management of international and nationally designated land. He is now back on the family farm in the AONB with his wife and two young children. Neal takes a lead role in managing the AONB’s Countryside Fund.

Trustee: Sarah Kettlewell

Sarah has a life-long interest in all things outdoors and has worked and volunteered for a number of conservation organisations from the National Trust to The Countryside Agency. In 2002, she joined Nidderdale AONB helping to develop and manage new projects and applying for funding. As a trustee Sarah provides a link between the AONB staff team and the work of the Friends.

Trustee: Pippa Manson

Pippa worked in outdoor and environmental education ending her career as Head of Outdoor Education for North Yorkshire County Council. Now retired, she leads gardening at a local primary school, a village entry in Yorkshire in Bloom and enjoys walking and cycling in Nidderdale and beyond. As a trustee, Pippa hopes to help promote the work of the Friends to members and the public.