National Park Authorities - Secretary of State Members

Body: National Park Authorities (NPA)
Appointing Department: Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs
Sector: Environment, Food & Rural Affairs
Location: Various
Number of Vacancies: Lake District (1); Peak District NPA (1); and Yorkshire Dales (1)
Remuneration: These positions are non-salaried but certain allowances are available, if needed – full details are in the candidate pack.
Time Requirements: Lake District National Park Authority: 4-6 days per month, Peak District National Park Authority: 3-4 days a month, Yorkshire Dales National Park Authority: 2-3 days per month.

Campaign Timeline

  • Competition Launched


  • Closed for Applications

    14/03/2022 at 12:00

  • Panel Sift

    w/c 21 March 2022

  • Final Interview Date

    w/c 25 April 2022

  • Announcement

    May 2022


Assessment Panel

  • Siôn McGeever (All Panels) Added 04/02/2022

    Panel Chair

    Deputy Director for Landscapes, Peatlands and Soil • Departmental Official

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  • Tiffany Hunt (Lake District Panel) Added 04/02/2022

    Lake District NPA - Acting Chair • Representative of Organisation

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  • Andrew McCloy (Peak District Panel) Added 04/02/2022

    Chair, Peak District National Park Authority • Representative of Organisation

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  • Neil Heseltine (Yorkshire Dales Panel) Added 04/02/2022

    Chair, Yorkshire Dales National Park Authority • Representative of Organisation

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  • Professor Kiran Trehan Added 04/02/2022

    Pro-Vice-Chancellor for Partnerships and Engagement, University of York • Independent Member

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Vacancy Description

There are ten National Parks (including the Broads Authority), and thirty-four Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty, including two Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) Conservation Boards in England.

The National Parks and Access to the Countryside Act (1949) enabled the designation of National Parks and AONBs in England and Wales.

National Parks and Cotswolds and Chilterns AONBs are protected because of their natural beauty and the wealth of opportunities provided for outdoor recreation, being designated nationally and internationally important landscapes. This high-quality environment supports vibrant local economies and communities.

National Parks are administered by individual National Park Authorities. The Chilterns and Cotswolds AONBs are each administered by a Conservation Board. Each National Park Authority/ AONB Conservation Board is managed by an executive of permanent staff with oversight from members. Members make decisions about the actions that each National Park Authority/AONB Conservation Board should take to deliver its purposes. There are typically between 18 and 30 members, either appointed by Defra’s Secretary of State, or elected by local authorities or parish councils.

The executive carries out the necessary work to run the National Parks/AONBs and support and advise the members. Staff include professionals such as ecologists, archaeologists/ heritage experts, rangers, planners, and education specialists.

Defra encourages National Park Authorities/ AONB Conservation Boards to maximise funding from a range of sources to supplement the grant they receive from Government.

The overall role of a member is to contribute to the leadership, scrutiny, and direction of the National Park Authority and further the statutory purposes. Members are not representative of any organisation or group and have a duty to act in the best interest of the Authority on which they serve. Certain ineligibility criteria apply to these posts.

Person Specification

All applicants must demonstrate the following criteria in their application:

• Enthusiasm and a genuine passion for connecting with nature, the work of the Natural Park Authority and its statutory purposes.

• An ability to successfully engage with and influence a wide-ranging audience in an ambassador role for an organisation.

• A demonstrable commitment to promote and increase equality, diversity, and inclusion.

• An ability to think strategically, contribute and scrutinise complex plans and policies.

• High standards of integrity and impartiality to ensure transparency, strong governance, and efficiency.

Background to the role

The overall role of a member is to contribute to the leadership, scrutiny, and direction of the National Park Authority and further the statutory purposes. Members are not representative of any organisation or group and have a duty to act in the best interest of the Authority on which they serve. Certain ineligibility criteria apply to these posts.

The key functions of a member are to:

• Ensure the National Park Authority furthers its statutory purposes

• Agree plans that ensure the Park is available to all parts of society, is relevant and is valued as a national asset for its special qualities

• Represent the Authority through collaborative working with external stakeholders at a national and local level, including other National Park Authorities

• Agree appropriate policies to meet statutory duties and participate in collective decision making

• Encourage a creative, experimental, and innovative culture, where risks are appropriately managed

• Guide the development of policy and business plans by participating in activities as required including meetings, committees and working groups

• Scrutinise and monitor performance, including providing constructive challenge and oversight of governance

• Ensure there is effective and efficient governance and management in place

• Provide leadership and strategic direction towards national priorities

• Utilise broad knowledge and skills, to manage local and national interests, ensuring the national interest is taken fully into account.

Additional Information

The recruitment process

The closing date for applications is noon on 7 March 2022. We expect to have shortlisted by the end of March, with panel interviews at the end of April.

It is essential that your statement of suitability gives full but concise information relevant to the appointment, clearly demonstrating how you meet each of the essential criteria.

It is recommended that you format your statement under five headings, one for each essential criterion. This will make it easier for you to demonstrate how your skills and experience qualify you for the role. You should also read the ‘Public Appointments Guidance Notes’ which are attached to the advert.

Please also specify for which National Park Authority you are applying.

At the shortlist meetings the advisory assessment panel will assess each application against the essential criteria and decide who to invite for final interview. Candidates will be advised by email if they are invited to interview. The panel’s composition along with interview dates is outlined in the table overleaf.

Interviews will be held remotely via Microsoft Teams and are expected to last for approximately 50 minutes. Candidates will be advised by email of the outcome of the interview.

Ministers will be made aware of all candidates deemed appointable by the panel. They will then decide who to appoint to the roles advertised.

Diversity and inclusion

Given our commitment to diversity we would encourage applications from individuals with experience of improving access for people from underrepresented groups and expertise in identifying and improving inclusive communications.

Disability Confident.

We guarantee to interview anyone with a disability whose application meets the minimum criteria for the role. By ‘minimum criteria’ we mean that you must provide evidence in your application which demonstrates that you meet the level of competence required under each of the essential criteria, as well as meeting any of the qualification, skills or experience defined as essential. The Cabinet Office and Defra is committed to the employment and career development of disabled people. If a person with disabilities is put at a substantial disadvantage compared to a non-disabled person, we have a duty to make reasonable changes to our processes where possible. If you need a change to be made so that you can make your application, please refer to the ‘How to apply’ section below.

If you wish to apply under this scheme, please state this in the covering email or letter when submitting your application.

1_National Park Authorities Member Candidate pack 2022
2_Monitoring form 1 (Conflicts of interest conduct and advertising Questionnaire)
3_Monitoring form 2 (Diversity Questionnaire)
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