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.

Cath Bashforth

David Brewster

Mike Conlon

Mike has spent much of his working life in education, including in 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. In addition to his outdoor pursuits Mike continues to enjoy a near obsessive interest in rugby football.

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

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 15 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 NYM 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.

Helen Gundry

Shelagh Holyoake

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 now Vice Chairman of West Ayton 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

Heather lived her formative years in the market town of Stokesley and resided in the small hamlet of Easby for some 30 years, she 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 from working 30 years in the steel and engineering Industry, she now finds more time to dedicate herself to other roles, particularly in regard to the North York Moors National Park as well as North Yorkshire County Council and the Esk Valley Railway Development Company.  

Heather's favourite place in the Park has to be Easby Moor, riding her horse up through the bluebell woods up on to the top, makes the cares of the world disappear in an instance.

She values the importance of our National Parks, protecting them and their sustainability for future generations, has to be her priority.

Terry Ratcliffe

Terry was raised in a small town in the Lancashire Pennines. He was trained as a municipal engineer working mainly on highways and main drainage.  He is a chartered Civil Engineer and holds a Master’s degree in traffic engineering and planning.

When working for the Teesside County Borough he led a team responsible for the traffic planning and the design of the future highway network for the Teesside conurbation. His duties also included traffic management and car parking.   He was later appointed as Borough Surveyor to the Middlesbrough Council advising on all engineering matters.

A lifelong cyclist Terry is interested mainly in cycle touring and off road cycling. He was elected to the council of the Cyclists Touring Club (CTC) and was appointed as their representative for consultation regarding trunk roads in the north of England, a duty he still performs.

He was awarded the medal for the CTC volunteer of the year in 2006, and is currently President of the Teesside CTC District Association.  A regular weekend cyclist he also enjoys cycling holidays abroad. Terry and his wife Judith, who is keen horse rider like nothing better than to explore the highways and byways of Northern England.  Together they work to protect, improve and add to the bridleway network and are active in the complex process of trying to recover our lost ways.

John Richardson

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

He has been a recreational user of the Yorkshire Dales and Moors for most of his life, including walking, cycling and motor-cycling on and off road, 4x4 driving and motor sport, particularly Special Stage Rallying in the Yorkshire Forests and elsewhere, including organising and officiating.

He is the recently retired National Chairman of LARA, the Motor Organisations Land Access and Recreation Association (an umbrella body representing two and four wheeled recreation and sporting activities,) as well as a member of the Yorkshire Dales National Park LAF, representing them at the Yorkshire & Humberside LAF meetings.

Formerly a Non-Executive Director of the Motor Sport Association and former Chairman of the MSA Rallies Committee, he is a member of the MSA Safety Advisory Panel and the MSA’s Route Liaison Officer for North & 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 & East Africa and is currently 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. John’s other interests include natural history, rugby union, 20th Century military history, gyrocopter flying and steam engines. He still walks when possible!

George Winn-Darley

George owns and manages a grouse moor 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 is also a partner in 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 Trustee of the Ryedale Folk Museum in Hutton le Hole and a long standing member of the Local Access Forum, currently Vice-Chairman.  George is also a Trustee of the Yorkshire Esk Rivers Trust.