Forum members

2017/18

Mark Bullock (Access user.  Appointed 2017 – 2020)

Mark is a passionate user of outdoor space in Devon and has a particular interest in climbing and running on Dartmoor and the south and north Devon coast.  He works regularly as an outdoor instructor, leading college groups on Duke of Edinburgh and Ten Tors training programmes and as a tutor and guide in rock climbing.  He is a contributor to the Climbers’ Club guidebook.

Mark works part-time as a carer for disadvantaged young people in a residential setting and is well aware of the physical and health benefits that outdoor recreation can provide.

He is keen on sustainable transport and the holistic experience that the countryside can offer including health and fitness, adventure, nature appreciation and team building.

Mark is a member of the British Mountaineering Council and the Mountain Training Association

Simon Clist (Land management. Appointed 2016 – 2019)

Simon Clist is a beef and arable farmer from Hemyock, both landowner and tenant.  He has two footpaths crossing his land which falls within the Blackdown Hills Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.

Simon is Vice Chairman of the Parish Council and Chair of the recently formed Hemyock Commons management group.  He is a member of the CLA, NFU, Devon Wildlife Trust, Federation of Small Businesses and Blackdown Hills Rough Grazing Association (conservation grazing scheme).

He keeps in touch with young people in the agricultural sector through his own children and occasional lectures to students.

Chris Cole (Access user. Re-appointed 2017 – 2020)

Chris Cole has a small construction company that operates primarily in East Devon and until fairly recently had a holiday letting business. He has worked for many years in quarrying, landfill and energy recovery as a manager.

He lives just outside Newton Poppleford and has a section of the East Devon Way running through his property.  He relinquished his membership of Newton Poppleford and Harpford Parish Council in May 2015. In this capacity he had been Vice Chairman and Chairman of Planning.

Chris is an active member of the Devon Trail Riders Fellowship and has been working with Devon County Council’s Public Rights of Way team, carrying out clearance and repairs to parts of the public rights of way network with other TRF members.

Dr Sean Comber (Other interests. Re-appointed  2017 – 2020)

Sean Comber is an Associate Professor in Environmental Science at Plymouth University, lecturing on sustainability and environmental management, sources and fate of chemicals to the environment and European environmental legislation. Much of his research has been spent seeking to strike a balance between the social, economic and environmental aspects of managing our fragile environment.

Born and bred in North Devon, close to Braunton Burrows and the coastal path, he has a passion for preserving ancient rights of way and access to the countryside for all responsible users. Sean is a keen walker and motorcyclist and is Chairman of the Devon Trail Riders Fellowship.

Andrew Cox (Landowner.  Appointed 2017 – 2020)

Andrew Cox previously had a career in marketing and advertising but now owns a small sheep farm in the Torridge Valley.  He has an interest in improving access but is aware of the increasing costs and complexities of access management on landowners and councils.

Andrew was on the regional board of the National Trust, serving three terms of three years. He was also Chairman of the Devon CLA and a Devon member on the CLA until 2016. He is a member of the Torridge Fisheries Association.

Recreational activities include walking, particularly on Dartmoor and the SW Coast Path.

Gordon Guest (Other interests. Re-appointed 2016 – 2019)

Gordon Guest is a disabled access user who regularly uses an all-terrain mobility scooter across Devon, trying out many of the Devon footpaths and cycle paths, particularly on Dartmoor, Exmoor and in the Exe Valley.  He assists the Countryside Mobility SW project in trialling routes for Tramper scooters and writing reports. He has worked with this group and Dartmoor Rangers to improve a footpath and footbridge link to the Granite Way. He also helps Exmoor National Park and works with rangers to improve wheelchair mobility scooter access. He is passionately committed to improving and promoting opportunities for disabled people to access the countryside.

Formerly a University Senior Lecturer in primary education at the University of the West of England, Gordon is now retired.  He is a Cullompton Town Councillor.  In addition, Gordon is Chairperson of the Exeter and District Polio Group, a member of the Devon Disability Network (co-ordinated by Living Options) and a supporter of the Exeter South West Multiple Sclerosis Society.

Jo Hooper (Other interests. Appointed 2017 – 2020)

Jo has a professional interest in access to green spaces for all groups and, as DCC Corporate Equality Officer, has links to a range of networks including black and minority ethnic communities, faith communities, disabled groups and older and younger people. She is keen that everyone has confidence to use the countryside and green space through reducing barriers and ensuring positive action to encourage under- represented groups to access activities or spaces.

Jo was previously a board member of Plymouth and Devon Racial Equality Council and is currently a Trustee for XPlore LGBT Youth Group.  She regularly attends partnership meetings including the South West Equality Network, Devon Equality Partnership, Police Local Reference Group and the Modern Slavery Forum.  She also has experience of managing the Gypsy and Traveller Liaison service.

Her personal interests in recreational access include walking and dog walking using Devon’s varied environments and cycling to work.

Christine Ingram (Access user.  Re-appointed 2017 – 2020)

A former teacher, Christine Ingram is actively involved with South West Riders. She frequently uses local bridleways and footpaths and formerly had a holiday cottage, let to those who enjoy rural activities.

Key interests are raising the profile of equestrians and, in particular, provision of off-road riding opportunities and road safety issues related to public recreational access. Other interests are the development of long-distance bridleways and multi-use of access facilities.

Linda Lee (Access user. 2016 – 2019)

Linda is a carriage driver from West Devon and a member of the British Driving Society, participating mainly in Devon Area events.  Linda rides and carriage drives using bridleways, restricted byways and other land such as Forestry Commission woodland and SW Lakes Trust land. She would like to see more thought and planning being given to access for carriage drivers.  She is also a member of the National Trust.

In addition to equestrian pursuits, Linda also cycles and walks on Dartmoor, the Granite Way and other public rights of way.  Previously resident in Somerset, Linda worked with private estates to gain permissive or temporary access to estate land and, as a member of the Mendip Bridleways and Byways Association, helped to identify green lanes and bridleways in need of improvement, lending a hand from time to time in clearance working parties.

Linda is keen to ensure that younger generations have access to, and experience of, the countryside.

Sue Pudduck (Access interests. 2015 – 2018)

Sue Pudduck has worked in education most of her life. Initially teaching PE and Outdoor Education in FE Colleges, she took students on camping and hill-walking trips to many of the wilder areas in the UK as well as national parks in Europe. Working with young people, a priority has been encouraging responsible use of the countryside and more active participation by women.

As Head of School in Tourism and Leisure at South Devon College, Torquay, she worked with many outside agencies developing sustainable and environmentally friendly policies for growing outdoor activity tourism in the SW.  Later as a Senior Lecturer at Plymouth University, she developed a degree in Health and Fitness and her final post was running the Mountbatten Centre in Plymouth, a large water sports and adventurous activity centre.

Sue is Chair of Waterhead Creek Preservation Society (Kingswear).

Sue has an enthusiasm for the outdoors and enjoys walking, cycling and sailing. She was a Commonwealth Games medallist in fencing.

Mark Simpson (Land management. Re-appointed 2017 – 2020)

Mark Simpson’s family has an estate on Dartmoor which includes let farms, common land with open access and several miles of the River Dart.  Mark is also Managing Director of the River Dart Country Park, a tourist attraction with adventure playgrounds, parkland, camping/ caravanning and also runs Holne Park House as a venue for weddings and corporate events.

Mark is familiar with the pressures exerted by recreational use on access land and Sites of Special Scientific Interest as well as pressures on the river.  He studied Rural Land Management and until 2015 he was Chair of the Devon Committee of the CLA.  Mark’s family have several horses and ponies and are members of the Countryside Alliance, Game and Wildlife Conservation Trust and the National Trust.

Sarah Slade (Land management. Reappointed 2016 – 2019)

Sarah Slade is an organic farmer in mid Devon and is the National Access Adviser for the Country Land and Business Association. She is a Chartered Surveyor and has contact with a variety of rural businesses in a professional capacity. She also sits on a number of Forums, including the Rights of Way Review Committee, Natural England’s Stakeholder Group on Public Rights of Way, the National Coastal Access Stakeholder Group, the BS 5709 working group (which advises on the British Standard for gaps, gates and stiles) and the Motor Vehicle Stakeholder Working Group.

Sarah’s own farm is managed under an environmental scheme and she runs a holiday cottage business.  Her practical farming experience means she is aware of the need for profitable agricultural production and land management, and how that can be balanced with the needs of wildlife conservation and access. Formerly a keen rider, she still owns several horses and, when work allows, enjoys riding with her family.

Dr Maggie Watson (other interests) – appointed 2017-2020

Maggie Watson co-owns Wheatland Farm, a tourism business that has twice won VisitEngland’s Gold Award for Sustainable Tourism. The farm’s 21 acres (including an SSSI) are managed for wildlife, and this is made financially viable by self-catering accommodation. Part of the holding is in the Higher Level Stewardship scheme. Guests are encouraged to explore the farm but also the wider countryside, particularly the UNESCO North Devon Biosphere Reserve.

Maggie is a keen advocate for sustainable transport and regularly cycles using local roads and the Tarka Trail.  She also enjoys walking and wild camping on Dartmoor.  As part of her tourism business she is developing ‘Big bike out’ blogs and videos to encourage guests to explore the area without taking their cars.

Maggie has a strong and lifelong interest in conservation and has a PhD in Ecology.  She had a previous career in researching protected area management and still works part time in science communication. Since winning her sustainable tourism awards she has helped judge awards in subsequent years, both in the south west and the south east

She is a member of the Devon Wildlife Trust and RSPB.

Councillors

John Daw (Land management.  Appointed 2017 – 2020)

John is a 7th generation farmer with extensive landholdings across Mid Devon, including both owned and rented land.  He has a number of footpaths and bridleways crossing his land, including the Tarka Trail and The Two Moors Way.  He is well-used to public access from both local residents and visitors to the County. In fact Morchard Bishop parish has more footpaths than most villages in the County.

A former Chairman of Devon YFC (1972) and at present a Vice President of the Devon Young Farmers’ Federation, John has close links with younger people and is aware of their farming aspirations and the challenges they face for the future.

A former chairman of Devon NFU and Mid Devon District Council, he now sits on the Homes Policy Development Group which controls most of the Council Housing in the district. Having been a former player and Chairman of Crediton Rugby Club he takes a keen interest in all levels of rugby as well as athletics and clay pigeon shooting.   When time allows, John enjoys walking on forestry land and on Dartmoor and Exmoor.

Councillor Tony Inch – Vice Chairman of the Public Rights of Way Committee – DCC appointee

Councillor Tony Inch was elected to Devon County Council in May 2017 to represent the ward of Bideford West and Hartland.  Tony Inch is also a Bideford Town Councillor and Torridge District Councillor.  He is Vice Chair of the DCC Public Rights of Way Committee and is on the following Devon County Council committees: Children’s Scrutiny Committee, Council, Development Management Committee , Farms Estate Committee , Torridge Highways and Traffic Orders Committee , Torridge Locality (County) Committee. 

At Torridge District Council, Cllr Inch is Chair of the Licensing Committee.

Tony is looking forward to working with everyone to give safe and good access for all to our wonderful country side here in Devon.

Councillor Philip Sanders, Chairman of the Public Rights of Way Committee – DCC appointee

Philip Sanders is a County Councillor and Chairman of the Public Rights of Way Committee.  He was born into a Devon farming family and did an agriculture degree at Nottingham. After some time in hotel management he joined the NHS, becoming Trust Board Director, before running his own health care consultancy business.

Philip is Leader of West Devon Borough Council and chairs the Council’s Hub Committee.  He is also a Town Councillor on Tavistock Town Council.  He is a Board member of Tamar Housing Association, having been a past chair from 1998 to 2004, and now chairs their Development Committee.  He is the chair of the Virginia House Society.  He was Secretary of State appointee to Dartmoor National Park from 1998 – 2004 and rejoined the Park as a County Council representative in 2009.  He is member of the Dartmoor Trust, a Governor of Tavistock College, and as a voluntary warden with Dartmoor National Park he regularly walks and maintains many paths.

Philip is involved with young people as an assessor for the Duke of Edinburgh Award Scheme.  He was previously involved with the Dartmoor Rescue Group as a team member, search coordinator and controller and Chairman.  He enjoys the outdoors and recreational activities and has walked, cycled, climbed and caved quite extensively throughout the UK, including walking many long distance paths, and has done a lot of walking in Northern Europe.  He is Vice President of Tavistock Rugby Club.