We are delighted to announce the appointment of Michael Hill as our new Chief Executive Officer.

Michael is a passionate conservationist with a lifelong love of the Lake District and Cumbrian landscapes. With his strong track record of dynamic leadership in the non-profit sector, he has shown the vision and determination necessary to build an exciting future for the charity. 

Michael joins us from the non-profit radio technology platform Radioplayer, which he grew by forging collaborative partnerships between the BBC and other public service and commercial broadcasters around the world. 

Previous leadership roles he has held at the BBC include Deputy Controller of Radio 5live, and as Network Manager he successfully launched new services and led strategic reviews of national radio stations. He also has extensive journalistic and production experience, including as a Senior Broadcast Journalist and Duty Editor at BBC Radio 1’s Newsbeat programme.
Michael has been exploring the Lake District regularly since first falling in love with it as a child, saying:

“I first climbed Coniston Old Man at the age of nine. I remember being transfixed by the landscape, and how it combines vast geological scale with timeless human activity. It is a huge honour to be asked to lead Friends of the Lake District, and build on the incredible work the team has done in defence of this amazing place.”

Michael devotes his spare time to outdoor pursuits including fellwalking and horticulture. His ambitions for life in the Lakes include establishing a smallholding, developing his interest in ecology and building an electric cargo bike to get around on (with his dog Gem).    

Judith Cooke, Chair, said:

"We are incredibly excited to have such a serious thinker and energetic leader to take on the challenge of shaping the future of the charity. Michael brings the qualities needed to steer us through these difficult and uncertain times. With the landscape facing ever-more threats, we must stand up vigorously in its defence.  Michael will ensure that happens, along with our superb team at Friends."  

Michael is expected to take up the role in April 2023. Our Head of Finance and Operations, Stuart Clayton, remains acting CEO until then.