David Saunders is our Chief Executive, leading our small team of staff, overseeing the charity’s operations and collaborate with the Board in developing our vision, strategy and various charitable activities.
“My interest in landscape started early. Despite an urban childhood on the outskirts of Manchester, I spent much of my youth outdoors, in search of the woods and hills that still inspire me today. From early exposure to hiking and camping in the Peaks and Lakes, I was stimulated to complete a B.Sc. in Plant Ecology at Sussex and lived in Snowdonia when studying for a Masters in Environmental Forestry at Bangor. I remain constantly fascinated by the multiple layers of history, ecology and culture evidenced in our surroundings. My home and professional practice has since been in Southern England in the chalk downs and broadleaved woodlands of the Weald. Maintaining these human-modified, yet ancient landscapes have been my work, developing strategies and lobbying for policies and incentives to protect and promote the stewardship of rural heritage through contemporary approaches. My specialism is in lowland woodland management, which has included efforts to re-kindle a wood culture relevant to the 21st Century. Having worked for public, private and voluntary organisations I’m fully aware of the benefit of establishing partnerships. Through these professional exchanges, sharing good practice around landscape, culture, and sustainable lifestyles, I have been both informed and inspired which has influenced my approach. I have taught architecture and design students at universities, and on forestry degree courses, and I am keen to extend access for students to discover the wealth of inspiration to be found in landscape-related studies. The Landscape Research Group has promoted some fascinating multi-disciplinary work over the years and I’m delighted to join this committed team of practitioners and researchers. I will endeavour to help steer the organisation into the next stage of evolution, building on the strong roots already laid down, to establish a sustainable organisation for the future. My personal interests include landscape-inspired art and world folk music, as well as the management of my own small wood for nature conservation and low-impact timber production.”
Sarah Hobbs is our Communications & Membership Manager, collaborating with the Board and other staff to develop a larger, more diverse and more active membership and to enhance our communications.
“The hills of the Peak District were my childhood home until the mountains and fjords of Western Norway whisked me away to attend Red Cross Nordic United World College. The deserts of Egypt were my next stop while I studied Arabic & Medical Anthropology, and I now make my home in the Cairngorms National Park in the Scottish Highlands. My work has been a rich variety – practically addressing systems of social inequality, particularly health inequalities amongst Muslim communities in the UK; experiential and outdoor learning based on expeditions, to challenge stereotypes and encourage relevant, real-life learning for schools and young people internationally; contemporary Saudi Arabian art; reindeer herding – but always focused on local narratives and identities and the value and use of this in global terms. I am delighted to be part of the team at LRG, to continue and further my interests in creating links and approaches between disciplines, on a large scale.”