Sarah Fowler, chief execuitve of the Peak District National Park Authority

Sarah Fowler, chief execuitve of the Peak District National Park Authority

A woman who led teams reducing flood risks across England has been appointed boss of the Peak District National Park Authority.

Sarah Fowler takes over the post from Jim Dixon, who has held the position since 2003.

Ms Fowler joins the national park as chief executive at a time of continuing financial cutbacks imposed by the coalition Government.

She will take up her position at the end of January.

Ms Fowler is currently head of field services at the Environment Agency, the Government body charged with protecting the environment and reducing flooding risk.

She has been with the agency almost a decade, ending up in charge of staff operating and maintaining its flood-risk-management assets across England. She has also held posts as regional strategy manager, area manager for East Midlands and midlands director, in charge of a team of 1,000.

Ms Fowler said: “I am pleased to have been asked to become chief executive of the Peak District National Park Authority.

“Nestling at the heart of the country, the Peak District is a truly inspiring place. I am delighted to be offered the opportunity to lead the dedicated staff of the national park, who are its guardians.

“I look forward to hearing from those who live in, work in and visit the national park for their views on how, together, we can continue to care for this precious place now and for the future.

“I bring absolute passion and commitment for the communities of the Peak District national park and i believe i bring empathy and awareness of the challenges facing the national park, given the current public sector financial environment.

“I am looking forward to establishing good working relationships with all the national park’s partners and am keen to get out and about to meet staff across the 555 square miles it covers.”

Before joining the Environment Agency, Ms Fowler worked for a charity in Peterborough promoting sustainable development; at English Nature, Natural England’s predecessor, and for nine years at the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds. She started her career at the Wiltshire Wildlife Trust.

Peak District National Park Authority chair Councillor Lesley Roberts said: “I am delighted to be able to confirm that Sarah will be joining us as the new chief executive.

“The recruitment process has been rigorous and I am grateful for the work of the panel, staff and our advisors to help us reach this decision which was unanimously agreed by members on Friday 5 December.”

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