TWO NEW members are being sought by the organisation that runs the New Forest National Park.

The Lymington-based National Park Authority (NPA) is seeking suitable candidates to replace two government-appointed members, Phil Marshall and Marian Spain.

Mr Marshall died in September last year and Ms Spain has been appointed interim chief executive of Natural England.

The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) needs two people who are both willing to serve a four-year term.

An NPA spokesman said members appointed by the Secretary of State had an important role to play in helping to oversee the management of the landscape.

"They provide leadership and strategic input, at a non-executive level, to the National Park Authority which works to ensure the delivery of benefits to the national and local community," he said.

The NPA 22 members with overall responsibility for making decisions.

Twelve are appointed by the county, district and borough councils, six are appointed by the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs and four are selected from parish councils.

The spokesman said members set policies and priorities, ensured efficient and effective use of resources and made sure money was well spent.

Lord Gardiner of Kimble, Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Rural Affairs and Biosecurity, said he was recruiting members for a number of national parks and Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONBs).

He added: "I am looking for a wide range of passionate and committed individuals who want to help shape the strategic direction of our National Park Authorities and AONB Conservation Boards.

"As a Secretary of State-appointed member, they will have the opportunity to help conserve and enhance our most treasured landscapes now and for future generations.

"I welcome applications from people who have a clear understanding of land management, rural communities, as well as protection and enhancement of the environment."

The closing date for applications is May 13.