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Our Trustees and Council

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About us

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What we do

Our Patron, President
and Vice Presidents

Our Trustees and Council

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Our Council members bring a wide range of skills and knowledge together to help us work for the protection and enhancement of the New Forest.
Could you become a Council member and a part of our campaigning team?

Contact John Ward, our chairman,
to find out more:

Our Trustees and Council

At the heart of the Association are our Board of Trustees and our Council, supported by Committees. Officers and Trustees are elected by the membership and members of Council are appointed by the Board of Trustees. Co-option may take place between AGMs. Committees are chaired by trustees, but committee members may be drawn from the wider membership or be volunteers co-opted for the special expertise or skills they bring.

The Board of Trustees comprises the Officers and up to six additional trustees


John Ward (Chair)

Former Director of Strategy and Planning at the New Forest National Park Authority; Former member New Forest Committee; Former Director New Forest Villages Housing Association.

Vice Chair

We currently do not have a Vice Chair.

Sarah Nield (Hon. Secretary)

Chair in Property Law Southampton University; Work on the legal framework of the New Forest,advising the Verderers on various matters; Author of a book entitled Forest Law and The Verderers of the New Forest.

Christopher Winter (Hon. Treasurer)

Finance director with experience in the airline industry, food manufacturing and cosmetics.


Bernie Austin

Retired chartered surveyor and architectural consultant; Former Chairman Lyndhurst Parish Council; Founder of Lyndhurst Junior Football Club.

Clive Chatters (Chair Habitat and Landscape Committee)

Company Secretary Hampshire and Isle of Wight Wildlife Trust; Former Chairman National Park Authority; Naturalist, Conservationist and Author.

Chris Counsell

Retired managing director of a manufacturing company involved in water analysis and colour measurement.

Clare Gouldstone

Higher Research Scientist at the National Physical Laboratory and Co-chair of a team with a special focus on biodiversty; Founder of Nature-Connected Neighbourhoods CIC; Author and blog writer including posts on the New Forest

Sarah Richards (Chair Planning and Transport Committee)

Former Chief Executive of Planning Inspectorate for England and Wales,  a career in planning, housing and economic development in various local authorities in the south of England, continuing involvement in the academic education of planners representing the Royal Town Planning Institute.

Brian Tarnoff

Mobile cinema projectionist; Writer

William Ziegler

Former chairman New Forest Association; Chairman New Forest Trust.

Vacant (Chair Membership and Marketing Committee)


Council Comprises the Board of Trustees and up to fifteen additional members Council brings together on a regular basis individual members of the Association with a wide breadth of knowledge of the New Forest, engagement with other New Forest organisations or professional skills valuable to the work of the Association, and who are volunteers, serving on Committees or otherwise actively engaged in roles supporting the Association. They represent many viewpoints about the New Forest but are united in their commitment to the Association.

Council meetings are a forum in which to discuss with and advise the Board of Trustees on any New Forest issues pertinent to the Objects of the Association that its members wish to raise.

Jonathan Cox

Freelance ecologist and nature conservation adviser; Author of several English Nature and other nature conservation publications.

Tara Dempsey

Amateur naturalist with a particular interest in the New Forest.

Roly Errington

Member New Forest Consultative Panel; Trustee New Forest Ninth Centenary Trust; Chairman National Park Authority Western Escarpment Conservation Area Steering Group; Member New Forest National Trust Advisory Board; Vice Chairman Ellingham, Harbridge and Ibsley Parish Council; Member Hampshire County Council liaison committees for Cemex and Tarmac mineral operations in the Avon Valley.

Dr Tony Hockley

Visiting Senior fellow at the London School of Economics and Political Science; Former Chairman of the New Forest Commoners Defence Assocition.

Dr Keith Howe

Exeter University Agricultural economist; Senior Research Fellow Exeter University; Honorary Research Fellow Royal Veterinary College, London University; Trustee Exmoor Society.

David Humbert

Member New Forest Show Committee.

Jo Ivey

Commoner and member of Commoners Defence Association; Author; Co-ordinator of various New Forest projects and surveys

Ann Sevier

Commoner; District Councillor for Fordingbridge.

Neil Sanderson

Freelance ecologist and leading lichenologist.

Jenni Tubbs

Member Habitats and Landscape Committee; Friends of the New Forest representative on Forestry Commission Open Forest Advisory Committee; New Forest Friends of the Earth representative; Member New Forest Consultative Panel; Former officer Nature Conservancy Council.