Friday 12 December 2014
Steve Rodrick will be retiring at the end of December after 20 years, first as AONB Officer and then Chief Officer of the Chilterns Conservation Board. During Steve’s tenure the management of the Chilterns AONB has undergone huge development, with the establishment of the Conservation Board in 2004, one of only two such Boards in the country, and a staff team which has grown to 11.
The Board’s Chairman, Cllr Ian Reay, paid tribute to Steve’s enormous contribution to the conservation and promotion of the Chilterns: “Steve has been an inspiration as the first Chief Officer of the Chilterns Conservation Board. With a sure hand he has guided its formation and early development and has made it a model of how to protect special landscapes. To name just a few of the Board’s achievements under his management, I will mention the long-term project to help preserve and improve the condition of chalk streams, raising awareness of red kites as a wildlife spectacle, a major project to maintain and increase the awareness and enjoyment of commons and a project to preserve the Box woodlands in the Chilterns. In recent years he has fought hard and successfully to maintain the viability of the Board in the face of significant financial and development challenges. We shall miss him.”
Board members and staff gathered on Wednesday 10th December for a special lunch to mark Steve's retirement. The retirement gifts included a wassail cup made out of local cherry wood by craftsman Stuart King and inlaid with other native timbers from Chiltern woodlands including oak, yew, ash and box.
The Board's Countryside Officer Kath Daly will take up the post of Acting Chief Officer of the Board from January for 6 months whilst a review is undertaken of the Board's management structure and operation.