Green and yellow fields alternate underneath a clouded sky

Stakeholder Advisory Group

The VIP project’s national Stakeholder Advisory Group is comprised of senior representatives from organisations dedicated to conserving and enhancing the landscape throughout England and Wales.  It is chaired by leading environmentalist Chris Baines and includes the energy regulator, Ofgem, as well as National Grid.

Established in 2014, the Stakeholder Advisory Group has played an integral role by guiding key decision-making on the Visual Impact Provision project.

This has included identifying potential projects – both large and small – that could deliver significant landscape enhancements by mitigating the impact of existing transmission lines in AONBs and National Parks.

The members also advise National Grid on the most effective ways to engage with local stakeholders.

The Group's members are:


Cadw is the Welsh Government’s historic environment service working for an accessible and well-protected historic environment for Wales. They:

  • Conserve Wales’s heritage
  • Help people understand and care about their history
  • Help sustain the distinctive character of Wales

Cadw is a Welsh word meaning ‘to keep’ or ‘to protect’.

Ashley Batten, Regional Inspector of Ancient Monuments and Archaeology North Wales

Campaign for National Parks

The Campaign for National Parks is the independent national voice for the 13 National Parks in England and Wales. Their mission is to inspire everyone to enjoy and look after National Parks – the nation’s green treasures. For over 75 years they have been campaigning to ensure that our National Parks are beautiful, inspirational places that are relevant, valued and protected for all.

Ruth Bradshaw, Policy & Research Manager  

Campaign to Protect Rural England

Campaign to Protect Rural England (CPRE) fights for a better future for England’s unique, essential and precious countryside. From giving parish councils expert advice on planning issues to influencing national and European policies, CPRE works to protect and enhance the countryside. CPRE believes a beautiful, thriving countryside is important for everyone, no matter where they live. CPRE don’t own land or represent any special interests. Members are united in their love for England’s landscapes and rural communities, and stand up for the countryside, so it can continue to sustain, enchant and inspire future generations.

Roger Mortlock, Chief Executive

Campaign for the Protection of Rural Wales

The Campaign for the Protection of Rural Wales (CPRW) is a Charity working throughout Wales to protect and enhance the landscapes and quality of life in rural areas. Since 1928, it has sought to increase awareness of the value of all landscapes and the benefits they provide by encouraging individuals to protect and become their stewards.

CPRW defends those qualities which make Wales’ countryside and communities distinctive and challenges decision makers to ensure change occurs in the right way and in the right place and opposes it where it does not.

Historic England

Historic England is the public body that looks after England's historic environment. They do this through: 

  • Championing historic places 
  • Identifying and protecting heritage 
  • Supporting change 
  • Understanding historic places 
  • Providing expertise at a local level

Ian Morrison, Director of Policy & Evidence

National Landscapes Association

The National Landscapes Association was formed in 1998 as an independent organisation to act on behalf of Areas of Outstanding Beauty in England and Wales.

Howard Sutcliffe, Manager, Clwydian Range & Dee Valley National Landscape

Howard holds a joint honours degree in Geography and History and is a Professional Member of the Countryside Management Association. He has worked in Protected Landscapes for 25 years.

He is currently Manager of the Clwydian Range and Dee Valley National Landscape Partnership, and as such he represents the National Landscape Association and the National Landscape Family on the VIP Project Strategic Advisory Group.

He is a Vice Chair of Corwen Town Council and a life member of CADW and the National Trust.

“People are passionate about National Landscapes and care deeply about their future so we are delighted to be working with National Grid on their VIP Project. National Landscape partnerships are trusted convenors who make things happen, translating vision and national policy into local action and we look forward to being involved in the positive changes that will take place over the next seven years.”

National Grid

National Grid plays a vital role in connecting millions of people safely, reliably and efficiently to the energy they use.

We are at the heart of one of the greatest challenges facing our society – delivering clean energy to support our world long into the future.

We work with all our stakeholders to promote the development and implementation of sustainable, innovative and affordable energy solutions.

Zac Richardson, Director - Offshore Delivery

National Parks England

National Parks England exists to support policy and practice by coordinating the views of the 10 English National Park Authorities (NPAs). It does this by providing a collective voice, raising the profile of work, facilitating discussion, supporting change and working in partnership with other bodies.

Sarah Kelly, Landscape Officer, New Forest National Park Authority

Sarah Kelly is a Chartered Member of the Landscape Institute and has over 20 years’ experience as a fully qualified Landscape Architect. She has a wide range of professional experience having worked in both landscape and architectural practises in London and Hong Kong. She has been the Landscape Officer at New Forest National Park Authority since 2006, joining soon after it was designated. Sarah lives in Hampshire, close to the New Forest National Park and enjoys sailing and horse riding. 

National Parks Wales

Together, the three Welsh National Parks – Eryri, Pembrokeshire Coast and Brecon Beacons – protect an impressive 20 per cent of Wales, including precious landscapes, habitats, villages and heritage sites.

Jonathan Cawley, Director of Planning & Land Management

Prior to joining the Eryri National Park he was a Planning & Development Manager for a large independent renewable energy company and prior to this he was Planning Policy Manager for Denbighshire County Council. Jonathan is also currently Chair of the Royal Town Planning Institute’s (RTPI) Policy & Research Forum. In his current role, his responsibilities include overseeing the NPA’s statutory planning functions (including the Eryri Local Development Plan), the National Park Management Plan, the Sustainable Development Grant, Wardens and Access, as well as the Conservation, Woodland and Agriculture team. Overseeing these functions provides Jonathan with a good grasp on the live operational issues facing many protected landscapes today. He also works closely with the other two National Parks in Wales on planning and related matters, something he has personally placed a great emphasis on since joining Eryri.

"It has been a privilege to be part of the VIP project which will make a direct contribution to conserving and enhancing our protected landscapes. This project goes right to the heart of what protected landscapes are about. I look forward to progressing the positive and exciting work that has taken place to date."

National Trust

National Trust is a charity and completely independent of Government. National Trust has over 3.7 million members and 61,000 volunteers. More than 17 million people visit their pay for entry properties, while an estimated 50 million visit their open air properties.

They protect and open to the public over 350 historic houses, gardens and ancient monuments.

Ingrid Samuel, Placemaking & Heritage Director 

As Historic Environment Director, Ingrid Samuel has strategic responsibility for policy development and practice across the National Trust’s historic buildings and archaeology. Ingrid is also the NT’s strategic lead for Land Use Planning, in which capacity she oversees planning policy and national projects relating to major infrastructure such as HS2, and chairs the Trust’s Planning Board. A former civil servant, Ingrid was Head of Heritage and Architecture at the Department for Culture, Media and Sport. She has a doctorate in history from the University of Cambridge and lives in London.

Natural England

Natural England is the government’s adviser on the natural environment, providing practical scientific advice on how to look after England's landscapes and wildlife. Within England, Natural England is responsible for: 

  • terrestrial biodiversity 
  • marine biodiversity in inshore waters 
  • landscape and geodiversity 
  • access and engagement working with land managers and farmers to protect wildlife and landscape
  • National Nature Reserves 
  • providing planning advice and wildlife licenses through the planning system 
  • providing evidence to help make decisions affecting the natural environment

Mike Burke, Programme Director - Sustainable Development

Natural Resources Wales

Natural Resources Wales (NRW) is the principal advisor to Government on the environment and natural resources of Wales with a purpose to ensure that the environment and natural resources of Wales are sustainably maintained, sustainably enhanced and sustainably used.

Mary Lewis, Sustainable Places Land & Sea Manager

Keith Davies has responsibility for providing national leadership to NRW.

He previously worked for the Countryside Council for Wales, Snowdonia National Park and Arfon Borough Council and has spent periods on secondment to Welsh Government including contributing to the Sustaining a Living Wales Green Paper which contributed to the development of the Environment Bill White Paper and the Natural Resource framework in Wales.


Ofgem is the Office of Gas and Electricity Markets. We are a non-ministerial government department and an independent National Regulatory Authority, recognised by EU Directives. Our principal objective when carrying out our functions is to protect the interests of existing and future electricity and gas consumers.

The Landscape Institute

The Landscape Institute (LI) is the Royal Chartered institute for landscape architects.

As a professional body and educational charity, the organisation works to protect, conserve and enhance the natural and built environment for the public benefit. The LI champions landscape and the landscape profession, through advocacy and support to our members, in order to inspire great places where people want to live, work and visit.

Becky Knight, Fellow of the Landscape Institute

The Ramblers

Britain's walking charity working to protect and expand the places people love to walk and promote walking for health and pleasure.

Stephen Russell, Policy & Advocacy Manager

Visit England

Visit England is the official tourist board for England.

New representative to be confirmed

Visit Wales

Visit Wales is the Welsh Assembly Government's tourism team within the Department for Heritage to promote Welsh tourism.

New representative to be confirmed