Meet the team
Brought up in Cheshire, Mary obtained a degree in Modern Languages at the University of London and then spent three years working in Sydney, Australia with her husband Richard. She has three daughters and five grand-children, and has lived in Gnosall since 1974. She has a Certificate (HE) in Local Council Administration and an MSc in Local Economic Regeneration. Mary has been chairman of CPRE Staffordshire since 2018, having previously served for several years as vice-chairman. She is also a parish councillor in Gnosall.
Born and brought up in South London, Steve read Geography at Cambridge and took an MA in Environmental Planning at Nottingham University. He then worked on a project at the then Oxford Polytechnic comparing local planning practice in England and the Netherlands, before starting a career in local government. He held corporate management posts at South Yorkshire Metropolitan County Council, the London Borough of Croydon and Norfolk County Council, before joining Staffordshire County Council in 1991, where he held a number of positions in the Chief Executive’s Office, culminating as Head of External Relations. Since retiring in 2010, Steve has been keen to maintain his interests in rural matters and the voluntary sector. He was the Chairman of the former Community Council of Staffordshire, and am Chair of the Newcastle-under-Lyme Voluntary Sector Forum and a Trustee of Beaudesert Trust, an outdoor activity centre on Cannock Chase.
Steve and his wife and have lived Gnosall for over 20 years. They have two grown-up children and three grandchildren. Steve is an Honorary Steward at Twickenham, and a Vice-President of Newport (Salop) Rugby Club.
Vice-Chair and Trustee
A resident of Great Haywood, Anne received the British Empire Medal in 2013 for services to her community. Anne served on Colwich Parish Council for more than 20 years, including seven as chairwoman. She is also on the Best Kept Village committee.
Steve’s professional career has been predominately in policing, working in the West Midlands in a range of challenging roles. Following redundancy in 2013, he established a small but successful consultancy business in the criminal justice sector.
Steve’s passion for the countryside has seen him as a long-serving National Trust and more recently Worcestershire Wildlife Trust countryside volunteer. Steve is an active member of his local National Trust consultative group and is currently a member of their National Council. His connections with CPRE started as a regional chair for the West Midlands before serving two terms as a trustee for the national charity. Living in Kinver, where he is also a parish councillor, Steve’s love of the countryside fuels his semi-professional bee-farming business and his love of long-distance walking and horse-riding.
Philip Atkins OBE has lived and farmed for over 50 years at Rocester. He currently farms 67 hectares (165 acres) of mainly arable land between the River Dove and Churnet with a small closed flock of Shropshire sheep. He has been involved in most types of farming over the years from livestock and dairy to arable, including growing vegetables, and his farm is now in Higher Level Stewardship. He is also the Uttoxeter NFU Branch Chairman and set up a farmers’ group who ran the Uttoxeter Farmers’ Market.
Philip has been active in local politics since the mid-1980s, and was Leader of Staffordshire County Council from 2009 until July 2020. Over the years, he has been an East Staffordshire Borough Councillor and a parish councillor, as well as a school governor and Fellow of Keele University. He has represented Staffordshire on many regional and national bodies and is Staffordshire’s representative on the Rural Services Network.
Her Majesty’s Lord-Lieutenant of Staffordshire Mr Ian Dudson, CBE KStJ is the President of CPRE Staffordshire.
Ian’s family business, manufacturing ceramic tableware for the worldwide hospitality industry, has been based in Stoke on Trent since 1800. Ian was awarded the CBE for services to the ceramics industry in 2002. Ian was High Sheriff of Staffordshire in 2010-11. He was Pro-Chancellor of Keele University and Chair of Council from 2005-2012 and a founding member of the Local Enterprise Partnership.
Currently he is Chair of the Trustees of The Dudson Centre, a resource centre for voluntary groups, and chairs the Magistrates Advisory Committee for Staffordshire. He is also a Council member at Lichfield Cathedral. He is president of 11 Staffordshire-based organisations, including CPRE.
Office and Publicity Manager
With a background in the IT sector, Sue has worked for CPRE Staffordshire since May 2015. Born in Southport in Lancashire, she now lives in Stafford with her husband and teenage daughter. In her spare time, she is a competitive middle-distance runner and co-owner of a rescue horse.
Planning and Administrative Officer
Sarah joined CPRE Staffordshire as a part-time office assistant in September 2017, having previously been at home for several years looking after her two children and working part-time as an academic proofreader. She has a BSc in ecology from the University of East Anglia, and an MSc from Imperial College London. She previously worked as an editorial assistant and reporter for a specialist science policy newspaper, and as the coordinator of an academic research network into air pollution. In her spare time she enjoys reading, gardening, open water swimming at Chasewater and exploring the countryside on foot.
Anna is a creative copy-writer, proofreader and copy-editor, with a background in print, design and digital marketing. She is keen to work with organisations and professionals operating in the mental health and wellbeing, conservation, cultural, heritage and sustainability sectors and to help them create thought-provoking and persuasive written material that helps engage audiences. She will be helping us produce a Vision Document and other communications.
Evenings and weekends might find her exploring old cities, savouring underground castle caves, musing in an art gallery or reflecting in a heritage museum, as well as connecting with nature on a picturesque walk or energetic trail run. She is a member of CPRE, the RSPB and the National Trust.