The LNP Board brings together leaders a wide range of sectors reflecting our priorities.
14th March 2022
14th June 2022
15th September 2022
12th December 2022
Chair Professor Michael Winter OBE
Michael has been on the staff of the Centre for Rural Policy Research at the University of Exeter since 2002, following spells at the Universities of Bath and Gloucestershire and the Royal Agricultural College. Michael is a rural policy specialist and social scientist with particular interests in applying inter-disciplinary approaches to policy-relevant research. His current research focuses on sustainable agro-food systems and food security & the historical and contemporary sociology of west-country agriculture. He is a board member of Natural England, the UK Joint Nature Conservation Committee and Rothamsted Research. Previous appointments include being a Visiting Programme Director in Food Security at Wilton Park (Foreign Office), a member of the National Ecosystem Assessment Expert Panel, and a Commissioner for the Commission for Rural Communities from its inception in 2006 until its abolition in 2013. 2008-09 he vice-chaired an inquiry into the future for the uplands reporting to the Prime Minister. He studied Rural Environment Studies at Wye College, University of London and a took a PhD in Sociology at the Open University He lives in west Devon where he has a 15 acre small holding.
Michael’s other interests include church and community, music, hedge laying and Welsh rugby (watching not playing!).
Michaela Barwell (represents the DEFRA family)
Operations Manager at Natural England
Independent environmental consultant.
Steven Brown (represents the Health and Wellbeing sector)
Steve Brown is the Director of Public Health for Devon County Council. Steve has held senior leadership positions within public health, both within local authorities and the NHS for over twenty years, with the vast majority of his career spent in Devon.
Steve is passionate about promoting physical activity and the outdoors and spends his spare time mountain biking, hiking and surfing as well as helping to coach two youth football teams.
Dr Matt Frost (represents the marine sector)
Dr Matthew Frost is Marine Biological Association Deputy Director and Head of Policy and Knowledge Exchange, with particular responsibility for the Association as a national and international membership organisation. He is committed to ensuring the marine biological community has a strong voice via an Association that works hard on its behalf.
As a marine biologist who specializes in working at the science-policy interface Dr Frost has a wide range of experience from leading evidence provision and outreach projects to parliamentary and government engagement. He chairs numerous national and international committees related to marine policy and coordination including the European Network of Marine Research Institutes and Stations (MARS) and the Marine Climate Change Impacts Partnership.
Matt has a degree and PhD in marine benthic ecology with his research focusing on seabed ecology, large-scale patterns, long-term monitoring and on impacts on the marine environment, particularly those related to climate change. He has published over 80 journal papers, reports, book chapters and popular articles.
Richard Drysdale (represents Dartmoor and Exmoor National Parks)
Robin Milton (represents landowners/land managers)
Robin Milton is an Exmoor upland farmer who runs a mixed family farm, a herd of pedigree suckler Aberdeen Angus and a commercial sheep flock, on 1000 acres of bye and common land. After graduating from Wye college in 1982 he joined the family partnership in 1990 whilst continuing agricultural consultancy work. In 2010, the family were winners of Devon FWAG’s Bronze Otter Award and the North Devon Biosphere Sustainable Farming Award.
Robin has previously held the role of NFU (National Farmers’ Union) Branch Chairman and is currently NFU National Uplands Forum Chairman. He is chairman of the NFU South West Uplands Group, Withypool Commoners’ Association, and West Anstey Commoners’ Group; as well as a member of CLA (Country Land and Business Association) and Devon CLA committee member.
Robin is the Secretary of State National Appointee to Exmoor National Park Authority, 2010; Vice Chairman of Resource and Performance Committee; and sits on both the Parish and Consultative Forum and Exmoor Local Access Forum.
He is a member of the DEFRA Upland Stakeholder Group, Upland Land Management Advisory Panel and Water Quality Panel, as well as a Local Parish Councillor.
Lead for LNP priority theme, farming with nature.
Mark Wallace (represents the Arts and Culture Sector)
Mark Wallace has been director of Beaford Arts – England’s longest-established rural arts initiative, based in North Devon – since 2007, and a vice-chair of the North Devon UNESCO Biosphere Reserve Partnership since 2011. He has chaired the regional sector agencies Theatre South West and Audience South West and serves on Arts Council England’s National Rural Stakeholders Group. He has a Masters in Economics.
Jess Carter (represents Outdoor Learning and Environmental Education)
Jess is an environmental engagement lead at Planet & People, a Community Interest Company which she co-founded to provide environmental education to schools through their Planet Action Workshop Series and also works together with businesses to facilitate behavioural and institutional change to be proactive in protecting the planet by operating more sustainably. Jess also coordinates the Mid Devon Wildlife Warden Scheme. She is an experienced project manager, facilitator and educator focussed on the environmental sphere and positively impacting the natural environment. Jess worked in environmental law and as a conservation coordinator on the Land, Outdoors and Nature Programme at Heelis, the National Trust Head Office where she supported and rolled out training to the countryside community nationally before moving back to Devon to set up her own business and give time and energy to local community projects. Jess helps to coordinate the Tiverton Tree Team and is on the Steering Committee for Sustainable Tiverton.
Jess grew up in South Devon and spent most of her child on horseback gaining valuable experience with top level competition horses and on farms whilst being an active member of the Young Farmers Club. She has a BSc(hons) in Biology from the University of St Andrews and a Graduate Diploma in Law. Jess enjoys developing a healthy environment for nature (and her family!) on her Mid Devon smallholding and training horses in her spare time.
Mark Williams (represents Local Authorities)
Mark Williams is Chief Executive of East Devon District Council. His major areas of focus have been building high performance teams in a challenging financial environment as well as bringing the East Devon Growth Point area to implementation. This has included the new town of Cranbrook and the Exeter Science Park.
In March 2010, Mark was appointed as a shared chief executive for South Somerset District Council and East Devon District Council. This was a joint initiative to save money and ensure both Councils could share best practice. This sharing agreement came to an end in 2015 and Mark is now working full time in East Devon. In this role he manages an agenda which includes an office relocation project, plugging a funding gap estimated to be £2.8 million over the next five years, and managing the ongoing Greater Exeter, Greater Devon project. This is in collaboration with Exeter City Council, Teignbridge District Council and Devon County council.
Chris Woodruff (represents protected landscapes)
Chris set up the East Devon AONB Partnership/Team in 2002 after having worked at all levels of local government, for conservation charity BTCV and prior to that the RAF. His role as manager for the East Devon AONB Partnership encompasses strategy, policy, finance, and project delivery. He has been former member on a number of boards including Chair of the Keith Owen Fund, member of the Devon Countryside Access Forum and Director for the NAAONB. Locally, he chairs Sidbury Millennium Green Trust and enjoys supporting village events with his family alongside his many sporting interests.
Carolyn Cadman (represents South West Water)
Carolyn was appointed as Director of Natural Resources in 2023, a new senior leadership role focusing on the delivery of the company’s environmental plans to protect and enhance the environment. Carolyn sits on a number of groups including the Devon Local Nature Partnership, the Isles of Scilly Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty Board and the Cornwall and Isles of Scilly Local Enterprise Partnership Rural Sub-Group.
In her role as Director of Natural Resources, Carolyn is responsible for developing and delivering South West Water’s catchment management plans, environmental policies and nature recovery activity, including peatland restoration. A key part of this will be engaging stakeholders and partners from across the region to support the company’s work to protect rivers, increase biodiversity and tackle climate change.
Prior to joining South West Water, Carolyn was Chief Executive of Cornwall Wildlife Trust since 2018, where her team managed nature reserves across Cornwall and supported more people, businesses and communities to take action for nature.
Carolyn has also worked in national roles for Natural England and the Marine Management Organisation, and in the South West region for the Unitary Authority of Cornwall Council.
Mark Rice (represents Environment Agency)
Mark is the Area Director for the Environment Agency in Devon, Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly. The Environment Agency has a leading role to play in restoring or recreating new wildlife-rich habitat in England. With a team of approximately 380 people our activity ranges from managing the risk of flooding from main rivers, reservoirs, estuaries and the sea; regulating industry and agriculture; responding to environmental incidents including major pollutions and flooding and managing water resources to secure the water needs of communities, businesses and the environment. Mark has 20 years’ experience of working with the Environment Agency in a variety of communications, operational and strategic roles, he has a background in communications and public affairs.
Nora Corkery (represents communities)
Nora was appointed to the role of Acting CEO of Devon Communities Together in May 2020 & CEO in December 2020. Devon Communities Together is the Rural Community Council for Devon and a member of the national network Action with Communities in Rural England (ACRE). As part of this national network, Devon Communities Together works closely with Defra and other central government departments as well as a broad range of local statutory and VCSE partners. Devon Communities Together’s vision is to inspire and support rural communities in Devon to be dynamic and sustainable places for people to live and work. Current relevant programmes include managing the Devon Community Resilience Forum; working as a delivery partner on the Devon Land Use Framework and Devon Resilience Innovation Project and managing the Wild About Devon Community Grant scheme.
After graduating from The University of Southampton in 1985 with a degree in law and politics, Nora chose to work in the public sector, firstly within a Local Authority setting and then moving into the Voluntary and Community sector in 1992. This year marks Nora’s 31st year working in the VCSE sector in Devon, firstly for the national Citizens Advice Service at Devon Welfare Rights Unit for 23 years, as Manager for 12 of those years, before joining Devon Communities Together in 2015.
Nora is a member of the newly emergent Devon, Plymouth and Torbay VCSE Assembly Leadership Group and co-chairs the Assembly Health Inequalities Hub and the ICS Digital Inclusion Strategy Group.