Council of Partners Membership

Independent Chair: Sarah Nichols

Sarah brings with her a wealth of business skills gained during her successful career in the defence and aerospace industry where she worked with the utmost integrity under the Official Secrets Act. Her primary roles were developing business strategy and building relationships with key stakeholders, from local MPs to senior figures in industry and government.

She successfully secured many millions of funding over the years, managed press relations and hosted official events welcoming dignitaries from many countries. In 2011 she set up her own Business Consultancy advising local organisations on strategic business development giving her the opportunity to forge relationships with local organisations before retiring in 2017.

Elected Councillors appointed by the Partner local authority

The councillors are briefed and supported by an officer from their local authority.

Cllr Paul Miller Vice Chair
Appointed by Basingstoke & Deane Borough Council
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Cllr Juliete Henderson
Appointed by Hampshire County Council
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Cllr Rhydian Vaughan MBE
Appointed by Hampshire County Council, (Deputy)
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Cllr Sally Povolosky
Appointed by Oxfordshire County Council
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Cllr Gary Sumner
Appointed by Swindon Borough Council
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Cllr Phil North
Appointed by Test Valley Borough Council
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Cllr Elizabeth Gillespie
Appointed by South Oxfordshire District Council
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Cllr Paul Barrow
Appointed by Vale of White Horse District Council
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Cllr Catherine Webber
Appointed by Vale of White Horse District Council (Deputy)
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Cllr Hilary Cole
Appointed by: West Berkshire Council
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Cllr Nabil Najjar
Appointed by Wiltshire Council
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Represented Interest Groups

Community & Parish Interest Group Members x 4

Mr Donald Heath (retired businessman and Marlborough town councillor)

Dr John Sharp (local parish councillor and university lecturer)

Ms Sharon Egan (local parish councillor and civil servant)


Farming & Rural Business Interest Group Members x 4

Mr. Tim Bamford (Country Land & Business Association)
The CLA is the membership organisation for owners of land, property and businesses in rural England and Wales.Tim is a chartered surveyor and has advised clients on rural issues and was also heavily involved in the renewables industry, including overseeing the deployment of rooftop solar across the south of England.

Mr Christopher Musgrave
Christopher started farming at Temple Farm, Marlborough in 1983. As the estate manager of Temple Farm and three neighbouring Estates he was a key member of the Marlborough Downs Nature Improvement Area winning government grants and championing wildlife management beyond farm boundaries. After the funding stopped those involved continued and established the Marlborough Downs Nature Enhancement Partnership with a new project: Space for Nature. The Partnership now has 61 members covering 30 farms and estates over an area of 24,625 acres. Now retired he brings his considerable knowledge and expertise about farming and nature conservation.

Ms Andi Witcombe (National Farmers’ Union)
The NFU represents more than 46,000 farming and growing businesses in England and Wales. Its purpose is to champion British agriculture and horticulture, to campaign for a stable and sustainable future for British farmers.

Mr Peter Lemon (farmer)
Peter has been managing farm land and the environment in the North Wessex Downs AONB for the past 55 years. He and his family instigated the restoration of the 1821 Wilton Windmill. He has been instrumental in the introduction of essential land management changes over the last half a century.  He is particularly interested in water quality and soil health and is a highly respected member of the farming community.

Historic Environment Interest Group Members x 2

Ms Susie Brew
Previously living in London and working for a management consulting firm, Susie moved to Wiltshire in the North Wessex Downs AONB 15 years ago. Since then she has volunteered as a parish councillor and secretary fo the Wilton Windmill Society and currently she is coordinator for the Pewsey Community Area Partnership and the Pewsey Vale Tourism Partnership.


Nature Conservation Interest Group Members x 2

Dr Katrina Easterling
Katrina has lived in the North Wessex Downs AONB for many years and has contacts and expertise in nature conservation through membership of BBOWT, BHPS, Bat Conservation Trust, RSPB and Butterfly Conservation.  Her professional background is in human resources.  Since 2004, she has been an academic at the University of Winchester. In 2019, she was made a Companion of the CIPD for her ‘outstanding contribution to the profession’, particularly in equality and diversity.

Mr Tom Hayward
Tom currently works for Berks Bucks and Oxon Wildlife Trust.  He brings significant skills in conservation strategy and application in the land management sector. He leads on the development of the Trust’s Management & Acquisitions Strategy. He is an Advisor on Greenham and Crookham Commons Management Commission and represents the Trust with key external contacts and strategic partnerships including the Rural Payments Agency and West Berkshire Council.

Recreation & Tourism Interest Group Members x 2

Two vacancies

North Wessex Downs Landscape Trust

Mr Donald Sherlock
Donald is the Chairman of the Landscape Trust. His career has spanned many years in insurance broking and event management. For eight years, he was active in local government but recently retired as a borough councillor for Basingstoke and Deane Borough Council. He has many years of experience of trusteeships. Donald lives in the heart of the North Wessex Downs.