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Our NAAONB Staff Team

The charity has a small enthusiastic and energetic homeworking team of staff and contractors who together bring many years experience of working with our outstanding landscapes.

Amber Carter – Office and Membership Manager (part-time)

amber carterAmber has a passion for the environment, a degree in Environmental Biology and years of conservation volunteering experience. She joined the National Association for AONBs team in 2012. Prior to this she was employed by Wildlife Trusts Wales and Environment Wales.

Her other previously held roles in both the charitable and private sectors are varied and include experience in IT, office management, administration, finance and customer service.

Her current role facilitates the needs of the NAAONB team and the collaboration of the AONB Network.

Clare Elbourne – Administrative Assistant (part-time)


Clare has a background in project and policy support in international forest conservation. She studied Forestry and its Relation to Land Use and worked for the World Wildlife Fund for a number of years both in the UK and overseas.  She now lives on the edge of the Shropshire Hills AONB and has a deep love of the local landscape and wildlife.

Clare has also worked in leadership development for the educational charity Common Purpose whose aim is to find creative solutions to challenges currently facing society by bringing together leaders from different sectors in an attempt to overcome ‘silo’ working.

Clare’s role at the NAAONB is part-time Administrative Officer.  She also works part-time as a Registrar conducting weddings and has married hundreds of couples!

Wales Development Manager - currently vacant (part-time)

Howard Davies – Chief Executive

howard_davies.jpgHoward is passionate about the natural environment. Before he took up his current role in 2010 he was Director of Wildlife Trusts Wales.

His career started in farming, before moving into the private sector working in research and development. After a period of extensive travel, he came back to the UK to work for various practical conservation focused organisations in the third and public sector, before moving on to work within the Countryside Council for Wales’ Protected Landscapes team. He is Honorary Vice President of the North Wales Wildlife Trust, and an appointed Board Member of Natural Resources Wales.

Howard has a degree in Natural Sciences with Biology, a passionate interest in the relationship between people and place and actively promotes collaboration and consensus building. He is a Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society. Howard has been actively engaged in his local community for over twenty years and volunteers with many organisations, charities and businesses.

Richard Clarke – National Policy and Development Manager

richard clarkeRichard has been educated, trained and worked in the environmental sector for over thirty years.  He has seen that increasingly the disciplines of environment, heritage, business and community have overlapped and with it he has broadened his skills base. He has a degree in Biological Sciences and Post-graduate Diploma in Countryside Management.

Richard's passion for strategic environmental management was initially fired when he worked for the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority in the mid-1980s. For much of the last 30 years Richard has worked in professional teams working outside of, but in close contact with, large complex organisations. The role he has played has been to develop policy, partnerships, teams and individuals to be able to deliver strategic objectives to conserve and manage environmental and heritage assets.

Richard has a good understanding of the third sector and has worked as chief executive for a charity representing the native breeds of British livestock nationally and internationally. He is a director on the Marlborough Area Development Trust and is Chair of the national Charity Flora Locale. In recent years he has become closely involved in personal and team development and is a qualified Lumina Learning Practitioner.

The NAAONB Staff Team also work with the following contractors on specific projects:

Ian Marshall – National Policy Officer (part-time)

ian marshallIan has over 35 years’ experience working with public authorities, communities and the private sector to protect, conserve and enhance the natural and historic environment.

His career began in the private sector carrying out habitat surveys and conservation management plans, before moving into public service with the former Nature Conservancy Council in Hampshire surveying and notifying SSSIs. He then moved into local government as the County Ecologist for Hertfordshire and then Cheshire County Council, before entering middle management to run multi-disciplinary environmental teams. He left local government in 2014 to work as an environmental consultant based in South Cheshire, where he now lives in the beautiful landscape of the Sandstone Ridge. Ian has a degree in Rural Environment Studies and is a Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society. His professional interests are wide-ranging and include ecological networks, all aspects of landscape management, as well as heritage crime prevention.

Ian is delighted to be helping the AONB Network develop its offer to the delivery of the environmental outcomes of the 25 Year Environment Plan. His assignment includes responding to the emerging Nature Recovery Network, strengthening planning protection, developing metrics and an evidence base, and co-ordinating the AONB tests and trials proposal for the new Environmental Land Management system.

Marie Micol – Future Landscapes (part-time)

marie micolMarie has been contracted by the NAAONB to support the delivery of the HLF-funded Future Landscapes Project, working with external consultancies and AONB staff from across the country to ensure the objectives of the project are met. Marie is an independent environmental conservation professional with a solid experience in finance and social impact investment. She is passionate about preserving nature and enhancing landscapes on a global scale.

Prior to being contracted by the NAAONB, Marie did a 5-month volunteer placement with her local Wildlife Trust, actively taking part in restoring deteriorated landscapes and engaging with local communities.

Marie holds a Master’s degree in International Business and is currently studying towards a Postgraduate Diploma in Conservation and Forest Protection. Currently transitioning from social finance to environmental conservation, Marie is keen to use her learning and experience of the private and third sector to inform environmental conservation processes and decisions.