Dr Ruth Swetnam
Appointment method: National Member appointed by the Secretary of State
Appointing Authority: Secretary of State
Other Members appointed by this Appointing Authority:
More information about this member
Peak District National Park Authority
Bus. phone: 01629 816352
Term of Office
- 05/04/2023 - 30/06/2027
Appointments to outside bodies
I am a Chartered Geographer and Landscape Specialist with particular expertise in digital mapping (GIS), Environmental Science and Landscape Ecology. I have 30 years experience in research, relating to British and European agricultural landscapes and have undertaken work for Defra, the Welsh Government, the EU and many conservation bodies. I recently led the Landscape Visual Quality Assessment of the Glastir Monitoring and Environment Programme for the Welsh Government. The latter part of my career has been in higher education at Staffordshire University, where I taught Geography. My focus has been on Climate Change, Biodiversity and Interdisciplinary Science and I have led field courses for students in the Peak District. Whilst at the University I developed a particular focus on supporting work in the City and Communities of Stoke-On-Trent. In addition, I have mentored many young scientists both locally and internationally. Recently, I have taken on a new role for The Wildlife Trusts UK, Working on Carbon Accounting and Woodland Restoration as part of their Atlantic Rainforest Restoration Programme.
What the national park means to me
I grew up in the Staffordshire Moorlands, live locally and the Peak District National Park has always been an important and valued part of my life. I am keen to see wider access to the Park by disadvantaged communities and by those who have previously felt excluded, whilst valuing the critical role of rural businesses in maintaining its uniqueness and integrity.
The Peak District National Park is facing enormous pressure due to tight budgets, growing demand and rapid environmental change. The communities of the Park are not immune to wider societal pressures and many are particularly vulnerable through cuts to local jobs, services and transport. As an Environmental Scientist, my focus is on the impacts of Climate Change and the wide-ranging risks it poses to the landscapes and livelihoods of the people who live in the park. It is already posing severe landscape challenges due to drought, severe weather, tree disease and declining biodiversity. However, this is a living landscape and post pandemic, I am particularly concerned about our young people who need support to improve their wellbeing and enhance their life prospects. Social housing is important to stable and well-balanced communities, so we need to support young people and families in the national park, both in our villages and towns. As an Authority Member I hope to support the Executive to balance these competing demands whilst securing the health of the National Park for future generations.
Membership of outside bodies
In a personal capacity I am a Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society and a member of the following:
Staffordshire Wildlife Trust
Centre For Alternative Technology, Wales