We are a registered charity (Charity Number 1174201) and we our governed by a Board of volunteer trustees including prominent representatives from the environment, business and tourism sectors in the Lake District and Cumbria
Gill Houston (Chair)
Previously a business consultant and a business owner, Gill now applies her experience to developing the next generation of business managers through her role as associate lecturer at the Open University Business School. Gill, driven by her passion for the environment, has retrained in Environmental Decision-making and is involved in local projects that build community resilience and sustainability. Outside work, Gill is a keen rower, hillwalker and skier as well as supporting her husband run a small farm.
Director, National Trust North West
Mike has spent the majority of his career working in land management within protected areas across a variety of government, private and third sector organisations. He started with the Forestry Commission working in both the Lake District and the North York Moors, followed by roles at Severn Trent Water in the Peak District and as RSPB’s Regional Reserves Manager for North of England.
Mike joined the National Trust in 2007 as a General Manager in the Peak District estate. In 2012 Mike became the Trust’s North Region Assistant Director with overall strategic and operational responsibility for Cumbria and North Lancashire. In September 2018, Mike became Director of the North, a region which stretches from Lindisfarne in the North East, to Nostell Priory in South Yorkshire, and from the Lake District to Little Moreton Hall in Cheshire.
The North contains over one third of all National Trust land and support from over 3.5 million visitors and over 1 million members (5 million nationally) helps us care for a wealth of much loved and special sites; a major share in four National Parks and three UNESCO World Heritage Sites.
Peter Hensman (Treasurer)
Executive Director of Lake District Estates
Peter received an OBE in 2014 for his voluntary services to Cumbria’s rural economy. He was Chairman of the Cumbria Rural Enterprise Agency for six years and is Chair of Kendal Futures Board and the Lake District National Park Authority’s Business Task Force. Lake District Estates owns Ullswater Steamers and Ravenglass and Eskdale Railway and is a corporate supporter and fundraiser for the Lake District Foundation
Andy is a Cumbrian outdoor enthusiast. He is a keen walker, runner, skier, and biker and loves living life outdoors. Andy recently left his role as director of iconic Keswick outdoor retail shop George Fisher Ltd after 26 years, and as a very active and influential member of the Outdoor Industries Association, Andy brings immense knowledge of both the retail sector and local conservation issues.
Area Director, Environment Agency
Keith Ashcroft is the Environment Agency’s Area Manager for Cumbria and Lancashire. Born and bred in Lancashire, he developed his strong interest in the environment wandering the Cumbrian Fells which led him to study Geology at Leeds University. He has worked in a number of roles for the Agency regionally and nationally before becoming the Agency’s Area Manager in North Wales, followed by 2 years as Area Manager for Manchester, Merseyside and Cheshire Area before “coming home” in 2011 to lead the operational delivery of the Agency’s role in Cumbria and Lancashire. His role including managing flood risk, working with industry – including the water, shale gas and nuclear sectors and other partners to protect and improve the natural environment in the North West.
General Manager, Ambleside Park
Ambleside Park is a private hotel overlooking the top end of Windermere for the sole use of John Lewis & Waitrose employees and their families. Although not open to the public Andrew recognises the importance of supporting the community in which they operate and is a great advocate of the lakes and local countryside.
Managing Director, Cumbria Tourism
During her 25 year career in marketing and communications, Gill has gained substantial leadership experience across both the private and public sectors. Gill was previously Director of Marketing and Recruitment at the University of Cumbria. Her previous jobs include heading up destination marketing and tourism services for Lancaster City Council. She also spent four years as North West Public Relations Manager for the National Farmers’ Union, having begun her career as a journalist. Gill lives near Kirkby Lonsdale with her husband and two children and enjoys spending her leisure time walking in Cumbria.
Head of Department Science, Natural Resources & Outdoor Studies
University of Cumbria
Elspeth joined the University in 2009 as a part-time lecturer and since then has undertaken a number of diverse roles, cumulating in her current position, continuing to develop Ambleside Campus as a centre of excellence for conservation and outdoor studies and the establishment and progression of the National School of Forestry in Ambleside.
Head of Stakeholder Relations, United Utilities
Head of Marketing, Pure Cottages
Matt has worked for Pure Cottages (previously Heart of the Lakes) for over 4 years. He has significant experience of marketing across all channels and hopes to bring his experience to the Foundation. He believes in supporting the local communities and making sure the landscape stay the same for everyone to enjoy.
School Business Manager, Dallam School
Owner of Cedar Manor Hotel, Windermere
Cedar Manor has won multiple awards and is consistently at the top of Trip Advisor ratings. During the course of a 10 year refurbishment programme, the business has achieved a Gold award in the Green Tourism Business Scheme and is a corporate supporter and fundraiser for the Lake District Foundation.
Chief Executive, Lake District National Park Authority
Richard joined the Lake District National Park Authority as Chief Executive in June 2007. Previously he was Regional Director in the North West for Natural England, a role he took up in October 2006. Richard worked for one of Natural England’s predecessors, English Nature, for 15 years. A Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society, outside work Richard is a keen climber, runner, cyclist and skier. From September 2012 Richard became a Board Member for the Environment Agency.
Director Harrison Drury Solicitors
John is a solicitor and director at Harrison Drury who have offices in Cumbria and Lancashire. He heads up both the Family Law team and the Kendal Office. He has spent many years walking the fells with his family and friends as well as playing across the county in his band Northern Sky. John also has many years’ experience in fundraising for local charities, particularly involving his many business connections. He lives in the south of Cumbria with his family and energetic Whippet, Bonnie.