Meet the Team
Nick’s childhood interest in natural history and the environment took him, as a young man, to Kenya for two years where he worked for a zoological collector and game translocation specialist. On returning to England, he pursued a career in mechanical engineering and project management. This provided the opportunity to explore natural environments as diverse as the jungles of Borneo and the mountains and deserts of Iran, the Gulf States and the Maghreb, always with a camera to hand.
He spent the last 15 years of his career running the interests of an international oil company, first in North Africa and then in Russia. In the latter he linked up with the Director General of the Astrakhan Biosphere Zones and secured company sponsorship for a breeding programme to preserve the critically endangered western population of the Siberian Crane, as well as a breeding and release project for three native species of sturgeon in the Volga Delta.
Nick and his wife, Claudia, moved to Underhill, East Knoyle, within the Cranborne Chase AONB, three years ago and are active in various community activities, including writing nature notes for the local newsletter.
Nick believes that there are encouraging signs from the Government that it is coming to recognise the vital importance of the link between agriculture and the preservation of the natural environment. "This provides real hope for the creation of sustainable nationally designated landscapes," he said.
Linda has worked in the field of countryside management in Cheshire, Lancashire and Merseyside before moving to Dorset as a Head Ranger in 1988. In October 2000, she started work, on behalf of the Local Authorities involved, to help develop the new AONB Partnership and Management Plan for Cranborne Chase Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.
Linda has hands-on experience of most of the practical countryside management skills, habitat management, Rights of Way work, visitor services, interpretation and environmental education. Having gained an MSc in Countryside Management, Linda will always insist that getting muddy wellies is the only real way to learn.
Funding and Partnerships Officer
Anne's first job was with Oldham and Rochdale Groundwork Trust, an urban fringe regeneration charity, carrying out habitat surveys and working with local communities to enhance their environments. She then fulfilled a lifelong ambition to visit Australia and worked as a volunteer in a National Park just outside Melbourne for several months. Upon her return to the UK, Anne became the first Countryside Management Officer for Purbeck District Council. Latterly Anne has worked for Dorset County Council as an Assistant Cycling Officer, South Somerset District Council as a Countryside Planner and for the Rural Community Council for Hampshire as a Community Resources Adviser.
Anne coordinates the exciting Parish Archive project, parish plans, visiting schools and local groups and generally gathering information about local services and resources to be put together in a useful form for everyone to use.
Principal Landscape and Planning Officer
Richard has an MSc in conservation and is a chartered landscape architect specialising in landscape planning and management. He has spent much of his career working with the Heritage Coast and AONB landscapes in and around Dorset and the south-west region. He has experience of the private sector as well as public service, and he also combined consultancy with university lecturing for six years.
Richard has particular interests in sustainable development and landscape character assessment and, in addition to policy formulation, he has provided landscape appraisals for Local Plan Inquiries and planning applications and appeals. One of his largest projects was the Wytch Farm Oilfield in the Dorset AONB. He helped co-ordinate the group of officers from the constituent local authorities for this AONB in its early days.
In the post of Landscape and Planning Advisor he has led on a landscape sensitivity study, run seminars, and he works with planning protocol and landscape integration.
Landscape Partnership Scheme Development Officer
Roger has been appointed Landscape Partnership Scheme Development Officer. His remit is to develop the programme of LPS projects with partners and communities that will help to celebrate, protect and enhance the special natural, historic and cultural heritage of the Cranborne Chase and the Chalke Valley. The projects will start in the spring of 2019.
Roger joins the AONB team after more than a dozen years working for the Environment Agency as a National Advisor and Programme Manager. Earlier in his career, Roger was a Countryside Manager for Forest Heath District Council. For six years he served on the Heritage Lottery Fund committee for the south west.
Roger, who has also worked as a consultant, developing sites for conservation, recreation, heritage and tourism, founded the charity Super natured in October 2016. He lists his interests as rugby and cricket, plus enjoying and sharing the culture and natural heritage with family and friends.
Dark Sky Advisor
Amanda was appointed in the summer, with her main focus being on taking forward the AONB’s bid to be an International Dark Sky Reserve, to be submitted early in 2019. This is a status awarded by the International Dark-sky Association and, if our application is successful, would be a recognition of the wonderful dark skies over the AONB.
Amanda’s previous experience covers a varied mix of financial services, project management and, more recently, conservation after studying geosciences and ecology. She doesn’t pretend to be an astronomer, but did study some astronomy as part of her degree, which aroused her interest in the subject. Born and brought up in brightly lit London, she now enjoys being able to see the Milky Way over Cranborne Chase.
When not at her desk or out stargazing, Amanda enjoys walking, reading, and writing.
Shirley joined the AONB Team in June 2007, after working for property agents in Wimborne and a property management company in Fordingbridge, where she was the administrator.
She provides administration assistance to the Team, helped by the experience gained from being a Board Member with East Dorset Housing Association for nine years and working with Symonds and Sampson.
Shirley has a good knowledge of housing provision and planning issues, which are relevant topics in the work she currently undertakes.
Farm Conservation Advisor
Tracy is the South Wiltshire Farmland Bird Project Adviser. She joined the team from the Chilterns AONB where she worked for 6 years as the Farming and Land Use Officer.
Tracy originally trained in Rural Estate Management at Seale-Hayne Agricultural College in Devon. After two training years with the MOD and Cambridgeshire County Council she qualified as a Chartered Surveyor before moving into conservation working as a Countryside Stewardship Project Officer. A lengthy career break followed where she did various jobs including running ski chalets, working as a groom and travelling around the world for 2 years.
When she isn't working, Tracy enjoys cooking, mountain biking, growing vegetables and walking with her dog Monty.
GIS Consultant, Website Design & Maintenance
Harry Bell has a background in Geography and Geomorphology, and specialised in Coastal Zone Management at University.
Harry has worked with Geographic Information Systems (GIS) for over 20 years in a Local Government capacity and has acted as chair for the Dorset Countywide GIS User Group as well as performing Ordnance Survey Authority Liaison Officer duties.
He now runs a consultancy company - Jubilee Computing Services Ltd - providing GIS Services to various organisations including two AONBs specialising in production of high quality mapping, GIS Systems support including QGis, ArcMap and Mapinfo and development of web based applications using Leaflet and the Bing mapping API. The company also specialises in website design and social media.