Meet the Team

the North Wessex Downs team
The North Wessex Downs team from left to right: Sue Clarke, Ian Hepburn, Dawn Hamblin, Rose Somerset, Rebecca Davies, Claire McCorquodale, Henry Oliver

The AONB Team supports and works with the Management Working Group and the Council of Partners to:

  • provide a focus and central information base for the North Wessex Downs AONB
  • raise awareness of and promote the unique identity of the AONB
  • provide the strategic approach to deliver the North Wessex Downs AONB Management Plan
  • be a catalyst for and project-manage activities that deliver the Management Plan
  • provide planning advice to planning officers at the relevant local authorities and Natural England.

Henry Oliver, Director

Henry leads the AONB Team, working with the AONB Chairman, the Council of Partners and the Management Working Group.  He also represents the North Wessex Downs in national and regional protected landscapes forums.  Trained as a planner, he worked for urban and rural councils, the Campaign to Protect Rural England, the New Economics Foundation and the Empty Homes Agency before arriving in the North Wessex Downs.  Among other stuff he works on heritage, landscape character, dark skies, water and forestry.  Having grown up in darkest North Devon, he still finds the big skies (and huge tractors) of the North Wessex Downs both exhilarating and slightly scary.

Tel: 01488 680454

Rebecca Davies, Planning Advisor

Rebecca was raised in Wiltshire and has a strong interest in the rural environment having lived within or on the edge of an AONB since childhood, and being Welsh, it’s in her genes to love the countryside. After studying Geography she completed a Masters in Town and Country Planning and then started her career with Bath and North East Somerset Council as a Conservation and Planning Officer. Rebecca joined the North Wessex Downs team in November 2015 from South Derbyshire District Council where she was Area Planning Officer. At the North Wessex Downs her role is primarily to provide advice on the impact of development proposals on the AONB. In her spare time Rebecca loves being active and outdoors and can be found either walking with family and friends in the countryside, on a hockey pitch or out on the water kayaking.

Ian Hepburn, Management Plan Review Officer

Ian has broad experience of environmental policy and planning, ranging from negotiating and implementing international and European wildlife treaties, regional planning strategies, local and community plans. His career has taken him across the UK and much of mainland Europe, West Africa and (briefly) to the Pitcairn Islands. He has lived in Wiltshire for 12 years.

Tel: 01488 685440

Dawn Hamblin, North Wessex Downs LEADER Programme Manager

Dawn took up the position of North Wessex Downs LEADER Programme Assistant in June 2011 and since May 2012 has been the Programme Manager. She works to the NWD Local Action Group (LAG) which acts as the “board” and decision making body. Her main responsibilities are to provide advice and support to the LAG, manage the programme budgets and administration and to work with project holders to help ensure their projects are effectively delivered.
Dawn was born and raised in the Wiltshire end of the North Wessex Downs. After completing a geography degree and then working as a HR professional for 12 years she returned to Wiltshire in 2000 with her family. During an extended career break to look after her children she worked as a volunteer for local community organisations and charities. She loves the countryside, especially walking in her local patch around Martinsell and in Savernake and exploring further afield whenever she can.

Tel: 01488 680458

Harry Bell, GIS Support and Development

Harry has worked with Geographic Information Systems (GIS) for over 20 years in a Local Government capacity and has acted as chair for the Dorset Countywide GIS User Group as well as performing Ordnance Survey Authority Liaison Officer duties. He now runs a consultancy company specialising in providing Landscape based GIS Support Services - Jubilee Computing Services Ltd - providing GIS and Website Services to various organisations including the AONB. Harry has a background in Geography and Geomorphology, and specialised in Coastal Zone Management at University. He enjoys long walks with his family and dogs especially along the coast.

Tel: 01488 685440

Sue Clarke and Claire McCorquodale, Partnership Coordinators (Job Sharing)

Sue and Claire joined the team in October 2016. Sue's background in local authority administration is an ideal fit for taking on the role of Co-ordinator for the Council of Partners and the Management Working Group. Claire's background in IT and finance has led her to look after the finances of the team and develop the IT to meet the challenges ahead.

Tel: 01488 685440
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