Margaret Beckett,secretary of state for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, has announced her department is seeking to appoint new members to the governing bodies of key national parks in England, including the Lake District and the Yorkshire Dales, all key recreational areas of interest to cyclists. Beckett is also seeking members for a New Forest National Park Authority. The New Forest has had a troubled history of bicycle access and getting a cyclist on the board would be of benefit.

DEFRA seeks new board members for National Park authorities

DEFRA is seeking to appoint members to the following authorities:

* Broads Authority

* Dartmoor National Park Authority

* Exmoor National Park Authority

* Lake District National Park Authority

* Northumberland National Park Authority

* Yorkshire Dales National Park Authority

The New Forest National Park Authority will start work on 1st April 2005. In a challenging first year, the New Forest

Authority will decide how to manage its functions, set up operating systems, learn from the experience of other national parks and engage with the specific needs of the New Forest, its visitors and those who live and work

there. The authority will then run with full powers from 1 April 2006.

The successful Secretary of State appointees will be expected to provide a national voice on the Authority, and take a particular interest in strategic issues such as responsibility for conservation, recreation, planning, access and resource issues.

Ministers will be looking for candidates who understand the concept and practice of sustainable development and who come from a broad range of backgrounds representative of the social and cultural mix in the country at

large. Applications from women, members of ethnic minorities, young people and disabled people are particularly welcome, as these groups are still under-represented among the membership of National Park Authorities.

Applicants need to demonstrate an "active interest in outdoor recreation."

So, if you’re a lesbian one-legged cyclist from Serbia, you’re well on the way to being selected.

The appointments – which are unpaid – are initially for three years.

Appointees are expected to commit a minimum of two to three days per month, most of which is within normal

working hours. However, this commitment can vary from park to park and may rise to six days per month for the Lake District, dependent on the number of committees involved.

An application form can be found here:…/index.htm

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