North York Moors

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Member profiles

Walkers on coast by Chris J ParkerWalkers on coast by Chris J Parker
Val Arnold

Currently Chair of North Yorkshire County Council and Chair of Ryedale District Council. Cllr Mrs Arnold has been married to Steve – also a member of Ryedale District Council - for the past 48 years and they have a son and daughter and three grandchildren. She has been involved in local government for the past 14 years. Her hobbies include spending time with her grandchildren, caravanning and visiting antique fairs.


David Brewster

Jade Colston

Jade is from the Chiltern Hills in Hertfordshire and has recently moved to North Yorkshire after changing jobs within Forestry England; she has worked for them since leaving university covering a number of recreation based roles around the UK.

Jade is currently studying to become chartered in management, whilst also keeping busy running and taking time to explore the North York Moors. She is a keen horse rider and loves to be outdoors come rain or shine.


Mike Conlon

Mike has spent much of his working life in education, including a Secure Unit in County Durham and as an Assistant House Master at Ampleforth College. In a voluntary capacity he was heavily involved with the scout movement and as a longstanding Governor of Ash Trees Special School. These roles have provided ample opportunity for Mike to share his enthusiasm for the countryside and outdoor pursuits with young people in his care. He is a qualified mountain leader and holds a number of other national governing body awards. He also has experience of setting up a Duke of Edinburgh’s Award Group and operating within its programme.

Mike is a keen rock climber and mountaineer and a member of the Cleveland Mountaineering Club in which he has responsibility for access issues. He is also the British Mountaineering Council (BMC), Access and Conservation Volunteer for the North East.


Catriona Cook, MBE

Catriona is a farmer and a traditional food producer. She is a Trustee of the Byways and Bridleways Trust, former National Park Authority Member, former trustee of the British Horse Society and present British Horse Society Regional Access Officer.

Catriona is a former conciliator for complaints against the NHS Primary Care Trust and she is also a former member of the Independent Tribunal Service.


Catherine Cussons

Catherine farms land in the National Park near Scarborough including areas under the Stewardship Scheme with access provision, and agreements with the National Park Authority for woodland and conservation management. Qualified in floristry, she has run part time classes.

Catherine is treasurer of Scarborough Deaf Children’s Society, past President and current Vice-President of Snainton Young Farmers’ Club and a committee member of Scarborough National Farmers’ Union, also has just been Chairman of Scarborough Farmers Club for 3 years.


Helen Douglas

Helen has just finished 12 years as a Councillor at City of York Council and moved to Norton in September 2018 to be nearer the North York Moors and to the Swinton and District Excelsior Brass Band of which she plays euphonium and is their Treasurer.

Helen's particular interest is community resilience, tourism and trade but accessibility to the moors is high on her agenda as she is also a Guide Dog Puppy Walker having raised 8 pups to date.

Helen has a real love for the North York Moors and her favourite place to take the dogs is the Roman Camp at Cawthorne.


Alison Fuller

Alison is a horse rider and is particularly interested in long distance riding. She is very keen to see access for equestrians improved. She also walks regularly and cycles occasionally. She has been involved with rights of way for about 20 years having served on a number of North Yorkshire County Council committees. She was a trustee of the British Horse Society for 3 years and has been involved with Ryedale Bridleways Group for a number of years.

Alison is a long standing volunteer with one of the North York Moors National Park’s volunteer groups carrying out work on the rights of way and environmental enhancement projects.

Before retiring Alison had a long career in finance.


Tim Gray

Tim is a 52 year old proud Yorkshireman, having been born in Saltburn by the Sea in North Yorkshire.

He has lived in and around Saltburn all his life spending 35 years in the licensed trade at all levels. 

Tim now runs his own micro bar with his wife of over 26 years. Working for himself now allows him to pursue a political career, having become ward member for Loftus ward on his first attempt. 

Tim loves the area he lives and works in and will always promote the area country wide. 

The area that he lives in, moors and coast really are unbeatable!

Tim was pleased to be appointed the representative for Redcar and Cleveland Borough Council on the North York Moors National Park Local Access Forum.


Helen Gundry

Helen is a resident of Kirkbymoorside, and is currently Chair of Kirkbymoorside Environment Group. She is also one of the three voluntary directors of Moorsbus Community Interest Company, which has kept her very busy in developing the new Moorsbus network since 2014.

Helen has always enjoyed walking, running and cycling. She loves horses and owned the same pony from 1977 to 2003. Parenting took over horse riding from 2004, and she has three school-age sons.

Helen is Secretary for Ryedale Cycle Forum and for Northern Ryedale Public Transport Group, and is also a member of Sustrans and Friends of the Earth. She is a member of the North York Moors and Coast LEADER Executive group and the North Yorkshire Moors Association.

Helen makes a living as a residential landlord, in Hull and Kirkbymoorside. In her spare time she enjoys spending time with family and friends, singing and gardening.


Peter Hutchinson

Peter farms at West Ayton on a family arable and beef farm in the National Park. Former Chairman of Scarborough Farmers Club and the Sherburn Discussion Group, Peter is a member of the Hutton Bushel Parish Council. He was awarded the Tye Trophy in 2007 for wildlife conservation by FWAG. He is involved in the local NFU, Local Young Farmers Club and has also been Chairman of The Stewartry NFU in Scotland.

He is keen on conservation and has a heronry, badgers and many species of birds on the farm. His farm has a number of paths and bridleways on it.


Muriel Mitchell

Muriel worked for several blue chip companies in business administration and then moved into further education as a Lecturer, teaching in a variety of colleges in West Yorkshire. She then worked for the YMCA, followed by the Leeds Training and Enterprise Council as a Programme Advisor. She is experienced in contract negotiations, quality development, marketing and bidding for Government and EU Funding.

Muriel was also part of the Yorkshire and Humberside Regional NVQ Network. She was heavily involved in project development and is responsible for the development of a vocational qualification for the socially disadvantaged.

She acted as a Consultant for the London Chamber of Commerce and Industry Examinations Board and is a keen rambler and amateur photographer.


Heather Moorhouse

Having lived her formative years in the market town of Stokesley and then resided in the small hamlet of Easby for some 30 years, Heather counts herself extremely lucky that she has been able to enjoy all the benefits of living in and around the North York Moors National Park. 

Having recently retired, Heather is now keeping herself busy spending time with her grandchildren and enjoying her hobbies, such as horse riding and bringing on two young foals that she has bred.

As well as her North Yorkshire County Council and North York Moors National Park Authority responsibilities, Heather is an active board member for the Esk Valley Railway and she is delighted to say she has managed to get extra train services for this underused line.


John Richardson (Hon. Chairman NYMNP LAF)

A retired Engineer, a member of the M.I.Diag.Eng. (Diagnostic Engineering Institute) John was a Regional Sales Manager (covering Northern UK, Scandinavia & Western Europe) with a specialist power transmission components manufacturer, based in Twickenham, Middlesex.

Born in Rotherham, he has been a recreational user of the Peak District, Yorkshire Dales and North York Moors for most of his life, including walking, cycling, motor cycling on and off road, 4x4 driving and actively involved in motor sport, particularly special stage rallying in the Yorkshire forests and elsewhere, including organising and officiating.

He is a recently retired National Chairman of LARA, the Motor Organisations Land Access and Recreation Association (an umbrella organisation representing two and four wheeled recreation and sporting activities) and is a member of the Yorkshire Dales National Park Local Access Forum.

Formerly a non-executive Director of the Motor Sports Association, a former Chairman of the MSA Rallies Committee and a member of the MSA Safety Advisory Panel. John is the MSA’s (now MSUK) Route Liaison Officer for North and East Yorkshire, South Cleveland and the National Parks of Yorkshire, overseeing competitive and recreational motoring in these areas. He is a former FIA (World Governing Body) steward and observer for special stage rallies in Europe, Asia, North and East Africa and is recently retired as a MSA Safety Delegate for events in the UK.

He is President and former Chairman of the Association of Northern Car Clubs and Chairman of the Yorkshire Motorsports Forest Users Group. 

Johns other interests include natural history, rugby union, 20th century military history, gyrocopter flying and steam engines.

He still recreationally walks when possible.


Philip Thurlow

Philip has lived in Fryup for all 40 years of his life. He left School at 16 and joined the family business, Town and Country Fires in Pickering, where he still works full time running the manufacturing process and developing new high efficient and eco design stoves.

Philip became interested in classic Minis and joined a Mini club in York where he met his now wife, Sarah, nearly 20 years ago.

He is a fanatical biker, runner, dog walker and generally enjoys spending as much time within the North York Moors as possible. With a huge help from his wife and employees they now have built a new business called The Yorkshire Cycle Hub which has accommodation, café, bike shop and bike hire. Philip loves spending time with his new customers and visitors showing them where to go and sharing his love for the area.


George Winn-Darley

George owns and manages a grouse moor and sporting estate in the National Park much of which is registered common. He is also a Member of the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors and a Fellow of the Association of Agricultural Valuers.

He operates a land-agency business specialising in rural estate management in the north of England. Committee membership includes the Yorkshire Region of the Country Land and Business Association (Regional Chairman until spring 2011), a Director of the Moorland Association of England and Wales and representative for the North York Moors. A member of both the Moorland Group and the Fire Liaison Panel, George is also a Council member of the North York Moors Association, a retired Trustee of the Ryedale Folk Museum in Hutton le Hole and a long standing member (and past chairman) of the Local Access Forum. George is also a Trustee of the Yorkshire Esk Rivers Trust and member of the Yorkshire Derwent Catchment Partnership Board. He is also a member of the England and Wales Wildfire Forum and Bracken Control Group.