Nominees for election

Laura Doan
A native southern Californian, I taught twentieth-century English literature at universities in Florida and upstate New York before moving to the University of Manchester in 2002, directing a research centre in gender and sexuality studies.  We now live between Waberthwaite and Ravenglass, on the edge of a farm where my partner grew up.  Last year we completed the Wainwrights (not in six days and certainly not running).  When we’re not fell-walking and Wainwright-bagging, we’re in the garden.  I spend rainy days working on a book that explores how we think about what’s “natural” and “unnatural” in the modern age.

I want to serve as a trustee for Friends of the Lake District (FLD) because I care passionately about protecting and enhancing the natural landscape of this stunningly beautiful part of the world.  FLD is currently involved in multiple campaigns, and I want to contribute to this endeavour over the coming years by representing, especially, the concerns of Copeland, where we live, but also the wider community.  My years of serving in higher education have, I think, provided me with the transferable skills to contribute to the Friends in meaningful ways.  Working with my fellow trustees over the past year has taught me a lot, and I look forward to continuing in this role to help achieve our aims.

Robin Forrest
I was born and grew up in the North-West of England and, having graduated with a degree in Russian & French, have lived and worked in London since 1993. My career has been spent in the finance industry, initially in banking with JPMorgan and for the past 15 years as a fund manager for Ashmore Group, a specialist investment firm focused exclusively on Emerging Markets. Most of my recent career, therefore, has been focused outside the UK and has involved extensive travel in new and exciting developing countries.

My wife and I have owned a home in Cumbria for 20 years, initially in the Eden valley and more recently in the Ullswater Valley. We spend most school holidays there with our 3 teenage children (and selected pets!) and endless visitors. Aside plenty of fell-walking as my oldest son works through his Wainwright list, we also sail and kayak frequently and I am a keen road cyclist.

My professional skills revolve around financial matters, analysis, problem-solving and team leadership; I hope combining these with a passion for the Lakes, and also a dual perspective of feeling both very close to but also distant from Cumbria can benefit FLD and our members. 

Antony Vaux
I have worked in charity management for thirty years and lived in Caldbeck in the northern Lake District for the last twenty. I am closely involved in local farming issues and am a Commoner at Caldbeck. I have published a book on the Caldbeck area and am deeply involved in local history. I hope that my knowledge of such issues and my challenging style will help to stimulate debate and development of thinking in Friends of the Lake District.

I hope to contribute to trustees role in providing strategic leadership and in particular focusing our work more tightly around a limited set of aims relevant to the current challenges which we face in the Lake District. Most of all I am interested in the crisis faced by hill farmers having to adjust rapidly to new forms of government support and the need to balance food production with environmental concerns.

Trustees for re-election

David Felton
I first visited Lakeland at the age of 6 months in my parents’ baby carrier when I made my first ascent of Catbells. Since then my passion for the landscapes, heritage and people of Cumbria has built, leading to me moving to Cumbria in 2008. 

I am a small business owner running a publishing company from my home south of Keswick. As such I am sensitive to the tension between business interests and the landscape. That tension has felt out of kilter for too long, and I hope to offer some insight into how we can protect and enhance the landscapes of the county we love while also supporting high quality local jobs.  My wider business experience is in publishing, marketing and growing revenue. I have been a member of Friends since 2016, a corporate supporter since 2017, and have planted trees, removed spruce and helped build walls on fell care days.

As well as my work with Friends, I am a director of the charitable Threlkeld Coffee Shop, a committee member at the Lake District Folk Weekend and have been a Princes Trust business mentor for disadvantaged young people for a decade.

Lucy Hetherington
My Hetherington ancestors were Cumbrian reivers who raided across the border around Carlisle. Many generations later my family still has strong roots in the area; throughout my life I’ve spent most of my holidays in the Lakes. I grew up deeply attached to the landscape and with a love of fell-walking and open-water swimming. My family have long included members of Friends of the Lake District and I believe passionately in the work it does to conserve and enhance the landscape - an invaluable national asset.

As an executive producer, now freelance, I have been responsible for many high-profile television documentaries and current affairs programmes. I have many years’ experience of interrogating the facts, unearthing evidence, and holding those in authority to account through detailed scrutiny and robust questioning. In commissioning roles at the BBC I was responsible for assessing and monitoring the work of independent producers and rigorously ensuring they delivered on quality and compliance. As part of the senior management at BBC Current Affairs I ran large teams, had responsibility for a big slate of programmes, managed numerous high-risk projects, helped set strategy and lead on change management. I previously worked as a TV film-maker, which gave me the opportunity to travel the world, and to meet an extraordinary range of people. My programmes have won a number of prestigious awards and nominations including BAFTAs and EMMYs.

I live with my partner and daughter. They are currently competing with each other to be first to a full set of Wainwrights.

Current Trustees

More information about our current trustees>