Meet our trustees

Simon Murray

Chair of the Board

Simon has a longstanding involvement with us and is Chair of CPRE in the Forest of Dean. He has many years’ experience working at board level, most recently at the National Trust, where he was Chief Operating Officer and Senior Director until his retirement in 2019.

He lectures and advising governments and organisations overseas while remaining committed to local issues in his native Gloucestershire. Simon is especially keen to find new ways to encourage young people to enjoy and care for our countryside heritage.

Patricia Broadfoot, CBE

Patricia, who is Chair of CPRE Gloucestershire, brings a wealth of experience in the educational and voluntary sectors. She is Professor Emerita at the University of Bristol, having previously held senior roles there, and was formerly Vice-Chancellor of the University of Gloucestershire. Recent board roles include being a Governor of the Royal Agricultural University.

Patricia lives near Wotton-under-Edge in Gloucestershire. She is a keen walker and horse-rider and has a particular interest in sustainability.

Margaret Clark, CBE

Margaret spent her career in national government agencies responsible for rural policy and practice and also chaired an international group on rural policy development. She chairs the Plunkett Foundation and the Rural Coalition and, until 2015, chaired Hastoe Housing, the leading provider of rural affordable housing. She has also been a member of CPRE’s policy committee.

James Lindsay

Hailing from Sheffield, James studied Environmental Conservation and Countryside Management at Nottingham Trent University and has a passion for sustainability, championing social responsibility and the development of a green economy. He’s now Head of Membership Services & Development at the University of Exeter Students’ Guild.

He lives in Devon and enjoys the variety the countryside has on offer, from the tourist-friendly coastline to the rugged hills of Dartmoor.

Will Rivers

Will grew up on hill farm in the Brecon Beacons and, despite now living in the city, escapes to the countryside at every opportunity. After completing an MSc in Environmental Sustainability, he’s spent the past 12 years working on carbon reduction and sustainable energy including on major programmes for government and the Committee on Climate Change.

Will has also worked extensively with local authorities to develop climate change strategies and action plans. He’s motivated by addressing the disconnect between urban lives and the countryside and making sure that everyone can experience the huge mental and physical benefits of feeling connected to nature.

Richard Simmons

Richard, who chairs CPRE’s Policy Committee, is a town planner with nearly 40 years’ experience in rural and urban planning and development. As CEO of the Commission for Architecture and the Built Environment from 2004-11, he advised government on improving the quality of urban areas, parks and landscapes. He has led policy-making and management in local and central government and non-profit organisations.

He teaches town planning at UCL and the University of Greenwich and works as a consultant, mainly internationally.

Robin Thompson

Robin is Deputy Chair of the Board. He’s run his Shropshire-based family farming business for many years and has lived in rural Shropshire all his life. He has served on the boards of two rural-based housing associations, the Housing Corporation and the Rural Development Commission.

Andy Topley

Andy has worked in architecture, planning and urban regeneration for 40 years. He was Chief Executive of Sheffield One, an urban regeneration company, and Director of Regeneration at Creative Sheffield, leading a number of major public and private sector projects. He’s Vice Chair of Friends of the Peak District/CPRE The countryside charity, South Yorkshire.

Martin Tyler

Martin, who lives in the AONB on the North Norfolk coast, chairs our Finance and Corporate Services Committee. His accountancy career included senior positions in major UK charities including the Refugee Council, Christian Aid, Fairtrade Foundation and Amnesty International UK.

He also has substantial experience of being a trustee, including nine years as chair of Pesticides Action Network UK, and is currently a trustee of Practical Action.