A SCOTSMAN with a long history of conservation work in Yorkshire has been appointed as the new director to push through government reforms on the way rural affairs are managed.
David Fraser has been appointed as the new rural director for the Government Office Yorkshire and the Humber (GOYH) and knows the regional well having spent the past 20 years here working for English Heritage.
He faces a tough ride and will have to tread carefully if he is to establish a working relationship with many, often rival bodies, with interests in rural affairs as the Government pushes through a series of widespread reforms which - it claims - will bring a more "joined up" rural strategy.
Already, plans have been announced to subsume much of English Heritage's work, along with English Nature and the Countryside Commission into..., which is to be based in Sheffield.
But his remit will also include liaising with many other bodies, national parks and local authorities to work on controversial issues like affordable rural housing and the lack of public transport in scattered communities like the Yorkshire Dales.
Raised in the rural Scottish countryside of Moray, David studied geography at the University of Aberdeen, before completing a second degree in historical geography at Syracuse University, New York. He then went on to gain a doctorate in archaeology from the University of Glasgow in 1982.
He said of his appointment: "I have had the pleasure of working in rural Yorkshire for many years and can see that its people and its landscapes are a huge asset to this region. It is therefore very important for the future well-being of all parts of the region that rural Yorkshire & the Humber is cared for, and that it continues to grow and prosper."