A former chief executive of the Scout Association is the new head of the body that looks after the Yorkshire Dales.

Derek Twine was elected chairman of the Yorkshire Dales National Park Authority at its annual meeting earlier this week.

He replaces Malhamdale farmer Neil Heseltine, who has come to the end of his four year term.

Mr Twine, who lives in Burley-in-Wharfedale and is an Honorary Lay Canon for the Leeds Anglican Diocese, said Mr Heseltine would be a 'hard act to follow'.

(Image: YDNPA)

“Neil Heseltine has been an amazing chair on behalf of the authority," said Mr Twine.

"He epitomises the qualities of farming and land management. His vision for how this wonderful landscape can deliver for food production, nature conservation and carbon sequestration is inspirational."

Mr Twine told the meeting that the national park authority had much to do, working with partners on nature recovery, carbon reduction, rights of way, helping local councils to provide more affordable housing and supporting young people.

He said: “Why did I put myself forward for this role? Because there is so much good already being done by the national park authority, right across the Dales, yet there’s so much more that needs to be done – and that has to be done."

He added: “The most important issue we are working on at the moment is the development of the new five-year National Park Management Plan.

"This will set out our plans, and those of many other organisations who operate in the national park. The coming years are crucial as we attempt to reverse the decline in nature and mitigate against the worst impacts of climate change.

“As a planning authority we are also working on a new local plan, which will set out policies for development in the national park for the next 15 years.” Mr Twine said he would be keen to draw on his experience leading the scouts.

“Young people are the future. There’s even more we can do on apprenticeships, on building on the success of our youth volunteering programme, and on making sure young people are able to shape our policies and plans.

“Then there are our bread and butter work programmes to keep up: rights of way maintenance and access, development management and farm conservation. We want to build on the success of the Farming in Protected Landscapes programme and engage with a new Government on its plans for land use.

"In particular, we need to ensure the Environmental Land Management schemes are working well for upland farm businesses.”