He said: “Joining the national park authority at such a pivotal moment for protected landscapes is a huge responsibility and I am honoured and excited to be joining the team.
“The need for nature recovery and climate mitigation has never been greater, nor has the opportunity to engage the national park’s residents and visitors.”
He added: “The Peak District has a special place in the nation’s heart and we need to ensure nature, climate, residents and visitors are at the heart of our work.”
The new recruit arrives with an extensive background across the voluntary and environmental sectors, including executive and board positions at the Conservation Volunteers, the United Nations Association UK, the Landscape Institute, Environmental Protection UK, and as a member of the National Trust’s council.
He was vice chair of Defra’s civil society advisory board when the government first considered the creation of the Canal & River Trust as a charity to replace the publicly funded British Waterways.
Phil takes over at the national park authority at a crucial time following the publication of the Government’s Landscapes Review looking at the role of England’s protected landscapes, and as all national parks have leading a ‘green recovery’ from the pandemic and welcoming new and diverse visitor groups across the country.
Andrew McCloy, who chairs the authority, said: “I’m delighted to welcome Phil to the position of chief executive at such a pivotal moment for the Peak District, when the spotlight is on our protected landscapes perhaps more than at any time since their creation over 70 years ago.
“Phil’s extensive leadership credentials – often with volunteer support at its heart – will be invaluable to meeting the challenges and aspirations of a Peak District that stands ready to deliver for our protected landscapes and all that they offer.”
Andrea McCaskie will continue as interim chief executive until September.