Introducing the new Chair of the Chilterns Conservation Board, Colin Courtney

Introducing the new Chair of the Chilterns Conservation Board, Colin Courtney

The Chilterns Conservation Board has appointed a new Chair, Colin Courtney.


Colin has been a Board member since 2016 and takes over from Paul Mainds BEM, who has stepped down as Chair but remains a Board member.

Discussing his appointment to the Board, Colin said: ‘I am thrilled to have been appointed Chair of the Conservation Board. I have lived for 27 years in the setting of the Chilterns and this is a great honour for me. Our Chilterns Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) has an amazing heritage, beautiful landscape, flora and fauna. The well-marked trails – including The Ridgeway, The Icknield Way and many more, make it a health service for free on our doorstep.

‘Our outgoing Chair, Paul Mainds BEM is a hard act to follow. His energy, focus and drive has been impressive. I am delighted that Paul is staying on the Board and along with our Deputy Chair, John Nicholls, who is carrying on in this role, I will have a wealth of experience to draw on.

‘The hard work though is done by Dr Elaine King our Chief Executive and her very professional staff team. I look forward to working closely with them and providing support – and the occasional challenge!

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‘We also rely on our many external stakeholders in order to help deliver on our responsibilities of conserving and enhancing the natural beauty of our AONB – which spans four counties, Oxfordshire, Buckinghamshire, Hertfordshire and Bedfordshire. Whilst also increasing the understanding and enjoyment by the wider public of its special qualities. I am also conscious of the need to foster the economic and social wellbeing of our local community.

‘These are challenging times and discussions are required on a national scale on climate change, equality, diversity and inclusion. Not to forget reviewing the boundary of our AONB. I’m looking forward to it all.’ 

When asked about his time as Chairman, Paul said: ‘The last couple of years have been times of challenge and of course opportunity for all the protected landscapes, but no more so than the Chilterns. I am delighted to have contributed to a number of significant changes and new developments but above all to have been able to work with and to support the fantastic staff team and especially Elaine King, CEO, as she has sought to have the Board’s voice heard by the widest possible range of audiences, stake holders and government. I look forward to continuing to work with Colin and the Board.’ 

Colin is a Chartered Engineer and Member of the Institution of Civil Engineers. He has extensive senior management and Board experience in leading UK and international infrastructure organisations. Prior to retirement, Colin held various senior managerial and director positions at Swedish international project development and construction group, Skanska. He has acted in various secondment and advisory roles with the Government. He was a member of the Government’s Green Construction Board and assisted with the development of the joint Government / industry strategy for construction – Construction 2025.

He was appointed to the Board by the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs in 2016. He has a great love for hill walking and the Chilterns has been his training ground for overseas treks in the Himalayas, the Andes and most recently Patagonia.

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OUT NOW: Outstanding Chilterns Magazine 2024

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Chilterns AONB Boundary Review

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