Our members

Our members

Our group

Northumberland Uplands Local Action Group has drawn its membership from across the uplands to ensure that there is a strong representation from local people who can influence the success of the LEADER approach.

The local action group has an agreed constitution, which includes a statement of culture and values; it is used to ensure consistent good practice and to ask members to work in a manner of mutual respect.

Our members

Terry Carroll - Chair
Terry has professional qualifications in town and country planning and rural resources management. He worked for the Northumberland National Park Authority for some 25 years, where he became the deputy chief officer.

He subsequently operated as a  freelance consultant in the field of rural development and as a research fellow at the Centre for Rural Economy at Newcastle University.

He has extensive practical experience of rural planning and land use, environmental conservation, rural micro-businesses and renewable energy, and also of the government institutions, policies and programmes that impact upon these sectors.

He has carried out numerous consultancy assignments in these fields at local, national and international level.

Terry is a director and board member of the Vindolanda Trust.

Stephen Jopling - Vice chair
Born and bred in Northumberland, at least it was Northumberland when I was a lad, it’s been swallowed up by the Newcastle suburbs now. I served 24 years in the Royal Navy as a Marine Engineer, my service included the Falklands War 1982 and the Gulf War 1991.  

Left the Royal Navy in 1997 and joined BP Chemicals, where I worked at Grangemouth in Scotland and eventually transferred to BP Exploration in Baku, Azerbaijan for a 2 year assignment. My engineering position started in projects and took me through operations, first as a competency specialist and finally as a Maintenance Excellence Engineer, the 2-year assignment lasted for over 10 years.

I left BP to set up my own company as a Maintenance Excellence Consultant to the Oil and Gas industry.   
I was lucky enough to be able to retire at 55 and have lived with my wife and young son in the upper North Tyne Valley for the last 10 years.
Interests include: Russian Language, Running, Keep Fit, Boxing Training, Skiing, Writing, The Arts including Ballet.

Tom Johnston
Tom moved to rural north Northumberland in 1986 and worked in many diferent roles before becoming a founder trustee for the Glendale Gateway Trust. Outside of working life, Tom is a volunteer crew member for the Tall Ships Youth Trust.

Tom said: "I was keen to become involved with the LAG as I feel I have learned so much about rural living in the past 15 years.

"The theme I am particularly interested in is 'Provision of Rural Services'. My work with the Glendale Gateway Trust has been all about connecting services to ensure they are sustainable and accessibile in the long term".

Louise Kirkwood
Louise has lived in Northumberland for more than 15 years. She is a parish councillor and an active member of several local community-run organisations.

Louise said: "I am keen to support the LAG because I feel it is important to help local groups and businesses make the best use of available resources in order to keep rural Northumberland very much alive socially and economically through challenging times."

Mike Murray
Although Mike was born and brought up in Northumberland, he spent 15 years running development programmes in Africa, which included various small grant schemes focused on improving infrastructure.

Mike believes that sustainable development in the Northumberland Uplands is community-based and inclusive, requiring a collaboration of the public and private sectors.


Barbara Sexon
Barbara is a mechanical engineer who specialised in renewable energy systems.

She has lived in the Coquet Valley for 25 years and in that time has been involved in a number of community organisations.

Barbara believes that for local communities to thrive, active support of the region's small businesses and varied culture and heritage activities is essential

Dagmar Winter
Dagmar Winter is passionate about rural life in Northumberland.

For nine years she was the rural affairs officer for the Diocese of Newcastle, which included some time chairing NULAG.

Now Rector of Hexham, enriched by a "hub" and market town perspective, she retains her interest in rural Northumberland.

Alistair Cochrane
Originally from Alnwick, Alistair has lived in Northumberland for all of his life and has worked as a Rural Practice Chartered Surveyor in the county for over 25 years.  

He is a Partner in the Property Consultancy Firm, Strutt & Parker, and lives near Wooler.  

He has a good understanding of rural business and environmental issues, agriculture and forestry, together with a strong personal interest in the region’s culture and heritage.  

He is a committee member and former chairman of the North East branch of The Country Land and Business Association (CLA) and is passionate about maintaining and enhancing the socio-economic health of the Northumberland uplands.

Andrew Poad
Born and brought up in Tynedale, Andrew trained at Kirkley Hall and Newton Rigg in Countryside Management whilst working with Northumberland National Park.  

For the last 25 years he has worked for the National Trust in Northumberland and is currently their General Manager for the places they look after along the Wall and in the Tyne Valley.  

In so doing, he has gained a breadth of experience in land management and rural businesses issues in this part of the world.  

Andrew is passionate about his native county and in finding ways to ensure its natural and socio-economic environments remain sustainable in these increasingly uncertain times.

Alan Sharp
Born and bred in Tynedale Alan an associate with Land Factor and manages the Haltwhistle Office and local estates.  

Alan has District Councillor for the Hadrian Ward since 1987 to 2008 when the District Councils were abolished and the County Councillor for the Haydon and Hadrian Ward since 2008.  

He is also a Board member of Northumberland National Park Authority and it is in this capacity that he serves on NULAG.  He is involved in many local committees and is very keen to help the community develop and to improve the facilities for all ages.
“I am very happy to serve on the Uplands Leader Committee to help and promote the local businesses in Northumberland.”

Kate Cairns
Kate Cairns was born and brought up on the coast of rural Northumberland. She is a Chartered Civil Engineer, a Fellow of the Institution of Civil Engineers and a freelance sustainability advisor.

She has worked in the construction industry, all over the UK and abroad, for over 20 years. She specialises in driving new standards in sustainability and safety.

She is a member of her local parish council and is a primary school governor. Kate represents NCC on the group as the elected member for the Longhoughton ward