Chairman stands down

THE head of the organisation that runs the New Forest National Park is standing down after six years.

Former Official Verderer Oliver Crosthwaite-Eyre will cease to be chairman of the Lymington-based National Park Authority (NPA) on August 31.

His deputy, Patrick Heneghan, will act as chairman until the organisation’s annual meeting on September 24, when Mr Crosthwaite-Eyre’s successor will be elected.

Mr Heneghan said Mr Crosthwaite-Eyre had been an “outstanding” chairman of the NPA.

He added: “His deep knowledge of the Forest, his unshakeable belief in collaborative working and a desire to deliver what is best for this special place have made for a powerful combination.

“Throughout his time at the helm Oliver has placed great focus on bringing together the numerous statutory and other organisations working in the New Forest.

“The resulting partnerships and ways of joint working have been strengthened and consolidated, delivering better results for the New Forest than would otherwise have been possible.

“Oliver’s inclusive leadership style and willingness to tackle the big issues have made him a popular and respected leader.”

Alison Barnes, the NPA’s chief executive, added: “Oliver is an excellent member and chairman. He has made a real impact on the Authority and will be greatly missed when his term ends.

“His knowledge of and commitment to the Forest is a huge asset, as is the respect he has from partners and the NPA staff team.

“These excellent relationships with key organisations and individuals have transformed the way we deliver together for the New Forest National Park.

“Oliver leaves a huge legacy of ‘Forest First’ which will endure through the people, projects and relationships he has invested in over the years.”

Mr Crosthwaite-Eyre was Official Verderer for nine years and chaired the Verderers’ Court, which oversees the ancient practice of commoning.

He was appointed to the Authority by the government in 2012 and was elected deputy chairman in 2013, becoming chairman the following year.

Mr Crosthwaite-Eyre, a former barrister, was born in Lyndhurst and lives in nearby Bramshaw.

According to the NPA website he is president of the Friends of the New Forest and a trustee of the New Forest Trust.