Scoping Group

The Peak District Upland Workshop was organised and hosted by the Fitzwilliam Wentworth Estate, the GWCT and the Moorland Association. Representatives of those organisations are on the Scoping Group as well as other local farmers and upland managers. 

Currently it comprises:

Local farmers and moorland managers

Richard Bailey

Richard has been involved for 32 years in game and wildlife management; 15 years in the Peak District as a Moorland Gamekeeper and then as the Conservation Manager for a South West Peak moorland estate. Now Richard is employed as a Moorland Project Officer and Coordinator of the Peak District Moorland Group which was formed in 2015 to promote the positive contribution that good moorland management delivered by sporting estates has on social, economic and environmental factors.  In his spare time, Richard is a keen photographer.

Ruth Battye

Ruth Battye

Following a degree in Agriculture at Nottingham University Ruth began working in the Livestock office of Dovecote Park before joining the Fitzwilliam Wentworth Estate in 2007 as Assistant Estate Administrator. As well as general estate management Ruth is involved in the management of the Estates moorland in the Dark Peak and most recently co-authored the Peak District Wildfire Risk Assessment 2022 which aims to provide an evidence base and framework for wildfire mitigation in the uplands. Other current projects include administering a cluster group of Estate tenant farmers and further developing a recent Estate wide Natural Capital Assessment.

Geoff Eyre

Geoff is a Peak District farmer, agronomist and an Honorary Doctorate in Moorland Restoration. He has spent a lifetime in upland management locally and across the UK. Geoff’s skills and experience is out there in the local community to manage the environment economically if given the opportunity.

Simon Gurney

Simon is Sole Principle of Land Agency Practice specialising in the uplands. He studied at The Royal Agricultural College and is a Farmer’s son, brought up on livestock farms in Derbyshire and The Yorkshire Dales. Simon is interested in conservation, moorland management and the rural economy.

Robert Helliwell

Robert has been farming hill sheep and cattle in the Hope Valley area for 35 years. He is a past member of the NFU’s Uplands Forum, past chair of the National Sheep Association Central Region, and recently retired as a Secretary of State Appointee of the Peak District National Park Authority. He has also served on Leader and FiPL panels.

Dan Richmond-Watson

As a land agent, by training, and farmer Dan has a passion for conservation and the countryside.  He runs an arable farm and estate in the Midlands as well as Midhope Estate in the Peak District.  Dan also runs a quarry and is involved in a number of start-up companies involved in glamping and tech.

Jeremy Young

Jeremy grew up working on sheep and arable farms in East Anglia before embarking on an international business career. In 2012 he bought a sheep farm with some upland in the Dark Peak with a vision to restore the farm to what it was prior to over-grazing and industrial pollution.

He is a keen conservationist and sportsman, as well as being chairman of an environmental packaging company and chairman of Natural Capital Advisory.

Ben Rimington Wilson

Ben is a chartered surveyor and manages a sheep farm and upland estate in the Ewden Valley in the north-east Peak District.

Joe Dalton

Joe runs the 1,270-acre family farm Aston Hall, in the Hope Valley, with land in both the Dark and White Peak. The farm comprises upland and hill beef and sheep with some stubble turnip and forage rape. A founding member of the Hope Valley farmer cluster, Aston Hall farm has been in a Higher Level Stewardship agri-environment agreement for 30 years, which includes measures for breeding waders and wildflower-rich hay meadows.

James Howard

James Howard

James runs Lane Farm in the village of Holme, which his family have tenant farmed for more than 16 generations. His flock of rare local breed lonk and whitefaced woodland sheep and herd of beef cattle grazes 1,360 acres of upland and in-bye ground, mostly owned by Yorkshire Water. The farm has been in an HLS agreement since 2014 for peatland restoration and wader conservation and has one the highest densities of waders in Peak District. Other conservation measures on the farm include wader scrapes, conservation grazing by cattle in winter and soil improvement.

Supporting organisations

Amanda Anderson (Moorland Association)

Amanda is director of the Moorland Association, a membership organisation with moorland conservation and enhancement as its core interest. Amanda runs the association bridging the interests of its members managing over 1 million acres of protected and designated moorlands in England with government departments, agencies and other stakeholders. She advocates for practitioner led, bottom-up action to meet targets for biodiversity, ecosystems, rural communities and climate change mitigation.

Andrew Critchlow (NFU)

Andrew is NFU County Advisor for Derbyshire, representing farmers across Derbyshire with as many stakeholders as possible, as well as escalating issues within the NFU and cascading information down to members. Andrew also farms in Edale on the slopes of Kinder Scout, rearing sheep for breeding and has dairy heifers on ‘bed and breakfast’ during the winter months. He has been involved in agri-environment schemes for over 30 years.

Teresa Dent (GWCT)

Having taken a degree in Agriculture at Reading University, Teresa joined land and estate agents Strutt & Parker as a farming consultant. She was a partner with the firm for 13 years. She joined what was then the Game Conservancy, and is now the Game & Wildlife Conservation Trust (GWCT) as Chief Executive at the end of 2001. In this role, she has been able to combine her practical and business experience of farming and land management with the conservation prescriptions and policy produced by GWCT’s scientists.

Teresa believes in practical, pragmatic conservation that finds space for wildlife alongside economic land uses such as farming, fishing, shooting and forestry. She works with a number of farmer groups operating at a landscape-scale to improve wildlife conservation, and helped set up the only farmer-led Nature Improvement Area in 2012. Since then she has helped GWCT create the concept of Farmer Clusters; groups of farmers working together, voluntarily, at landscape-scale to deliver nature conservation on their farms. There are now nearly 100 Farmer Clusters in England after three years of funding from Natural England.

Teresa is a Fellow of the Royal Agricultural Society of England, was a board member of Natural England (the government agency for nature conservation in England) between 2014 and 2020, is an honorary member of the National Gamekeepers Association and the Grasshoppers Farmer Group, and was awarded a CBE for services to wildlife conservation in the 2015 Queen’s Birthday Honours List.

Chloe Palmer (Farmer Cluster Facilitator)

Chloe is an independent farm environment adviser with over 20 years experience of advising farmers and land managers on agri-environment topics. She facilitates the Hope Valley Farmers and Bradfield Farmers groups, providing conservation advice to members and organising technical events. She is also a freelance agricultural journalist writing for the Farmers Guardian and leads other agri-environment projects across the Peak District and South Yorkshire.

Christopher Sparrow (Natural Capital Advisory)

Christopher is Managing Director of Natural Capital Advisory Ltd which has been drawn to support the PEF having played a crucial role in the creation and running of the Environmental Farmers Group. The role neatly fits with Christopher’s recent professional experience managing a substantive property portfolio (as Head of the Duchy of Lancaster’s 50,000-acre rural estate) and having supported the strategic direction of the farmer-driven co-operative, Camgrain. This experience has drawn several strategic parallels which has enabled the PEF to hit the ground running in terms of corporate governance and forward business planning during this crucial start-up phase. Christopher is really pleased to see and have the chance to work with farmers taking these proactive steps at this time of significant statutory, commercial and environmental change.”