Writer of several movie screenplays, Bruce McLeod, is due to stand down later this year after coming to the end of his four year tenure as the Gargrave based charity’s chair of trustees.
Mr McLeod, who has led the charity since 2019, during a time it has increased its campaigning role, including highlighting the damaging use of plastic tree guards, will however continue to volunteer his services as a trustee.
He said: “Friends of the Dales has a strong reputation and an excellent track record of more than 40 years in protecting the Yorkshire Dales National Park and encouraging people to value and enjoy the area.
“Over the last few years we have refreshed our strategy, rebranded ourselves, secured new members and supporters, and become a more active, effective and visible campaigning organisation.
“There are still challenges and opportunities ahead as the outcome of the current government review of national parks becomes clearer, so it feels like the right time to look for a new voluntary leader who has a passion for protecting and enhancing the environment to take us forward.”
Friends of the Dales was one of the first organisations to raise awareness of the toxic legacy of plastic tree tubes in tree planting schemes, a campaign that has gathered national notice leading to several tree planting organisations pledging to plant either without plastic or exploring alternative non-plastic shelters.
It has also over recent years raised public awareness of the importance of allowing verges to become biodiverse wildlife havens by ‘cutting less, cutting later and taking away’ – a stance that has been taken up by Skipton Town Council.
More recently, Friends of the Dales came out strongly against plans to site a 82 foot (25m) high 4G telecommunications mast in protected moorland at Chapel-le-dale next to the Yorkshire Three Peaks route between Whernside and Ingleborough.
People interested in becoming the new chair of trustees can join an informal webinar on the afternoon of Thursday, March 9 with Mr McLeod in addition to the charity’s treasurer, Ian Harrison, and its executive director, Ann Shadrake. It will take place at 1pm. To take part, email email@example.com for further information. The charity says it is keen to encourage applications from people who identify themselves as belonging to marginalised or minority groups.