12th October Evening Panel

The Centre for National Parks and Protected Areas are delighted to be hosting an free online Evening Panel Discussion on 12th October at 1900.

Hosted by world renowned mountaineer, Simon Yates, the evening brings together a diverse panel of artists, activists and funders, in consideration of Julian Glover’s challenge that We need a stronger mission to connect all people with our national landscapes, to consider:

  • What are our National Landscapes for?
  • Who benefits and who feels welcome to visit, enjoy and learn about these wonderful places?
  • How do we ensure all communities explore our most precious landscapes responsibly?
  • Covid-19 has enhanced the pressure on the Lake District and other protected landscapes; can this pressure be managed sustainably? 

The Landscapes for Everyone? Discussion Panel

Host: Simon Yates

Internationally acclaimed mountaineer Simon Yates is a veteran of over seventy expeditions to high and remote mountains around the globe. During a career spanning more than thirty five years his travels have taken him from Alaska in the west to New Zealand in the east and from Greenland to the Antarctic.

Find more about Simon at: https://mountaindream.co.uk/about-simon/ 


  • Douglas Charmers – Chief Executive, Friends of the Lake District

I have been Chief Executive of landscape charity Friends of the Lake District for 5 ½ years. Our two aims are to protect and enhance the landscapes of the Lake District and Cumbria, and to engage and inspire  people in landscapes. We are also a membership organisation with 6 ½ thousand members, and own land throughout the county including woodlands, a valley and a working farmed common.

Before this, I was Director North for the CLA, representing landowners and rural businesses for 14 years, and before that I worked in the animal feed industry.

I am from an Aberdeenshire farming family, and my wife and I bought a small farm near Appleby-in Westmorland in 1999, where we keep Herdwick sheep, Large Black pigs and free range poultry. My wife Alex ran a social enterprise there bringing groups and individuals of all ages and abilities out into the countryside, and now concentrates on one-to-one care farming support.

David joined The National Lottery Heritage Fund in 2017. He was previously Head of Yorkshire and the Humber.

He was previously Director of Conservation at the North York Moors National Park. In that role he led the park’s conservation work, including archaeology, nature conservation and land management, as well as rural development and grant giving. David also led a number of National Lottery Heritage Fund-supported projects. David previously sat on the UK Biodiversity Strategy Programme Board.

More locally he also sat on the York, North Yorkshire and East Riding Local Enterprise Partnership’s European Funding Committee. He advised on funding decisions to support rural development and a range of other partnerships covering catchment management, flood and coastal risk management, as well as Local Nature Partnerships.

David is a trained ecologist with a BSc in Environmental Management and MScs in Restoration Ecology and Public Management. His previous roles include biodiversity officer and sustainable development manager at East Riding of Yorkshire Council, where he helped set up the Biodiversity Partnership and manage the funding and delivery of a complete ecological survey of the area.

He also worked on ecology and wetland restoration at Scarborough Borough Council.

David is married with a five-year-old son and as a family they enjoy walking, wildlife watching and visiting galleries and museums.

  • Mohammed Dhalech – Mohammed sits on a number of Executive Boards concerned with young people, rural development; and Black and Minority Ethnic communities and was given a Churchill Fellowship to explore ‘Engaging Black and Minority Ethnic (BME) communities in the outdoors’ in Canada, USA and Ireland

My passion for many years since I was a teenager is the outdoors and I live in one of the most beautiful parts of the UK, in Cumbria – Lake District.  I have been passionate about engaging Black and Minority Ethnic communities to access the countryside and outdoors.

2019 Churchill Fellowship, my research was around  BAME/BIPOC engagement in the outdoors, for my research I visited North America to explore their approaches.  I continue my research back in the UK and exploring a number of initiatives to engage BAME communities and how the Sector engage with Race Equality.

My current professional role is Equality, Diversity and inclusion Manager with the Cumbria Fire and Rescue Service, previously I was managing support for witnesses attending Court in criminal trials across the three police force areas, with Citizens Advice Witness Service, working with the criminal justice service, to provide a smooth journey for witnesses.

I have worked at a senior strategic level in the voluntary and public sectors (inc. higher education, criminal justice, local government and the voluntary sector) advising on a range of issues related to equality, diversity and interfaith work. I have particular experience of working on Equality, Diversity and Inclusion in rural areas in the UK and Europe and am currently working on several projects in this area including postgraduate research.

  • Dr Anjana Khatwa

Dr Anjana Khatwa is an Earth Scientist, presenter and learning specialist. She works as the Wessex Museums Engagement Lead for Wessex Museums providing strategic support across four partner museums to open pathways for underserved audiences to engage with collections and exhibitions. Anjana is also an advocate for diversity and inclusion in Geography, Geoscience and the natural heritage and conservation sector. She is a Finalist for the 2020 National Diversity Awards as a Positive Role Model in Race, Faith and Religion. 

  • Harriet Fraser of Somewhere-nowhere

Rooted in the natural world, somewhere-nowhere celebrates the value of walking journeys, slow time outdoors, and has grown from a collaborative practice of photography and writing. Somewhere-nowhere uses exploration, discovery and creativity to build connections between people and nature. Our aims are:

  • to highlight the beauty of nature and the benefits of being in natural environments,
  • to spend time in natural environments and inspire others to do so,
  • to engage in debate about caring for sensitive environments and cultures,
  • to encourage participation in actively caring for this planet.

As well as promoting the feel-good factor of being outdoors, we share stories and viewpoints from other people that feed into debates about cooperative land use and sustainability. We know we can’t fix the big problems, but we do think that slowing down and learning more about a place, and the complex web of life connected with it, is a good place to start. Sir David Attenborough’s words pretty much sum up our motivation:

“No one will protect what they don’t care about, and no one will care about what they have never experienced.”

Read more about Somewhere-Nowhere here: https://www.somewhere-nowhere.com/

  • Debbie North

In 2011, Debbie – a keen hillwalker – was forced into early retirement with spinal degeneration. 

Since then, she has championed the cause of accessibility in the countryside, making her mark – quite literally in some places – in the National Parks around the UK and Germany.

Her wheelchair adventures have led her to the summits of places such as Skiddaw, Blencathra and Cairngorm.  She also pioneered an accessible coast to coast trek from St Bees to Robin Hood’s Bay.

Debbie’s on a mission: Making the inaccessible accessible.

Book you FREE ticket here