Speaker Profiles

Howard Davies
Chief Executive – National Association for AONBs.

Prior to joining the NAAONB, Howard spent two years on secondment from the Countryside Council for Wales (CCW) as the Director of Wildlife Trust Wales. Before this Howard worked closely with AONBs and National Parks of Wales as CCW’s protected landscapes policy officer.

He has worked as a senior warden for an AONB, county officer for the BTCV and in industry and agriculture. He was involved in the early development of the AONB Staff Forum and more recently supported further development of the NAAONB in his role at CCW.

Howard is a Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society.

Chris Baines
Chair – National Grid Stakeholder Advisory Group

Chris Baines is one of the UK’s leading independent environmentalists. He is a gardener, naturalist, television presenter and author, and advises government ministers, local councils and senior executives in major water, minerals, finance, construction and housing companies, on environmental practice.

An award-winning author and broadcaster, Baines is one of the original presenters of BBC Countryfile, and a former trustee of the National Heritage Memorial Fund, where he had shared responsibility for distributing the Heritage Lottery Fund. He is a former member of Design Review Panel for the Commission for Architecture and the Built Environment (CABE) as well as a member of the Environmental Review Panel for the London 2012 Olympic Village.


David Butterworth
Chief Executive – Yorkshire Dales National Park Authority

David Butterworth was appointed as Chief Executive of the Yorkshire Dales National Park Authority in October 2000. He worked for Barnsley Metropolitan Borough Council as an economic development officer before joining the National Park Authority.

David is a member of the BBC’s Rural Affairs Committee and a trustee of the North of England Civic Trust. He is also the lead officer for the English NPAs on: Performance Improvement; Access issues and Europe.

He chaired the Prosperity and Protection Steering Group – a body which examined and reported on the economic value of the three National Parks in Yorkshire.


Matthew Roberts MBA, PG Cert (Cantab), CIEEM, AIEMA, MCIM

Head of Sustainability – Landmarc Support Services Ltd

Mat is responsible for all sustainability issues across the business such as Waste, Water, Energy, Natural Capital and Social Value.

He is the architect of Landmarc’s Social Value strategy and the driving force behind the business’s commitment to Business in the Community.

Mat joined Landmarc in 2008 as National Rural Estate Manager looking after all aspects of one of the UKs largest land holdings, the MoD National Training Estate, over 220,000 Ha from the Orkney Isles to Cornwall.

Prior to Landmarc. Mat was the Superintendent of Epping Forest on behalf of The City of London Corporation. During this time he was appointed a Freeman of the City of London

From 2000 to 2005 Mat was part of the leadership team that created Scotland’s First National Park in Loch Lomond and the Trossachs. This followed 10 years working in Wales as the Chief Ranger on Gower AONB.

Mat is an alumnus of the Cambridge University Programme for Sustainability Leadership, a Fellow of the RSA, Director of Cynnal Cymru (Sustainability Wales), Director of the Global Association of Corporate Sustainability Officers, spent a decade as a Trustee of The Conservation Volunteers charity and almost 20 years helping organise the Hay International Festival.

When not working or being a dad and husband, he capsizes Hobie Cats and falls off mountain bikes.


Steve Rodrick
Chief Officer – Chilterns Conservation Board

Steve graduated from Edinburgh University with a degree in Forestry and Ecology. Following a spell with Scottish Conservation Projects, he worked as Countryside a Ranger helping to create a new Country Park north of Glasgow. From 1985-1988 he was the Countryside Manager for the Central Scotland Countryside Trust becoming its Director in 1989. From 1992-1994 he was the manager for the Rural Stirling Partnership covering Loch Lomond and the Trossachs.

He started as the Chilterns AONB Officer in 1994 and was appointed as Chief Officer to the Conservation Board when it was created in 2004. He was a member of the Forestry Commission’s Regional Advisory Committee for the South East for 13 years, 7 as chairman; and has been a member of the National Trust’s Regional Advisory Board for the South East and London since 2006.


Lord de Mauley
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for natural environment and science

Lord de Mauley is a Conservative member of the House of Lords.

He was previously a Government Lord-in-Waiting (a position in the Royal Household given to Government Lords whips) and also served as a Shadow Minister for Children, Schools and Families and Energy and Climate Change. He was an Opposition Whip from 2009 to 2010.

The minister is responsible for the business of the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs in the House of Lords. Other responsibilities include

Natural environment

  • Biodiversity (domestic and international, including international forestry)
  • Land management and soil (including commons and contaminated land)
  • National Parks and AONBs
  • Ecosystem services
  • Joint Nature Conservation Committee
  • Wildlife management
  • Welfare of companion and wild animals (including circuses, dangerous dogs and zoos)

Science and research

  • Environmental science
  • Nanotechnology
  • Pesticides and chemicals
  • Genetically modified organisms
  • Plant and bee health
  • Royal Botanic Gardens Kew
  • Food and Environment Research Agency