Matt Croney



My speciality is engaging people with their local landscape. I build consensus agreement to manage places in a harmonious and positive way – for people and wildlife. This ranges from engaging staff to agree new organizational strategies; to building and managing partnerships and friends of groups; to engaging the public. I also have vast experience of developing large, successful funding bids, such as HLF landscape partnerships and of monitoring and evaluation.

After 22 years working in the countryside sector in private companies, local authorities and charities, at a senior, strategic level, I have a broad range of skills and experience to offer.  A particular strength is my use of creative, participative and innovative approaches.  This began with the Stanage Forum in 1998, which was a national example of best practice in engaging multiple stakeholders and conflict resolution, to manage one of Britain’s most precious landscapes by consensus.

I also work in association with other consultancies, such as Icarus and Inheritage, so have the capacity to deliver large and diverse projects, including interpretation planning and work outside the countryside sector.

I am a member of the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors and always deliver to a high professional standard.


Recent consultancy experience (April 2015 to date)

  • training in consensus building for Herefordshire Wildlife Trust, Bromyard Downs and Malvern Hills AONB staff
  • providing all monitoring and evaluation expertise to the Churnet Valley Living Landscape Partnership, which is led by Staffordshire Wildlife Trust. This is a £1.9 million, 4 year, HLF funded project
  • exploring the potential for the community ownership and management of assets (COMA Project) for the Churnet Valley partnership and local authorities in Staffordshire
  • evaluation of the Woodland Trust’s Ancient Woodland Restoration Scheme, which is nearing half way through its 5-year, HLF-funded programme. This is a £3million project covering 50,000ha in 10 areas of the UK
  • developing a new vision for the South Pennines landscape, working with the Moors for the Future partnership
  • advice concerning eligibility for the farm Basic Payment and Countryside Stewardship Schemes to Sheffield & Rotherham Wildlife Trust

Director of Living Landscapes at Derbyshire Wildlife Trust (2011-2015)

  • interim Chief Executive for 3 months
  • led the Reserves, Conservation, Living Landscapes and People Engagement Teams
  • developed the DerwentWISE HLF landscape partnership of 15 organisations, delivering a £2.5million, 5 year project around the Derwent Valley World Heritage Site.
  • developed the new organisational strategy, the “Living Landscapes Action Plan”, engaging all staff and a range of partner organisations.
  • developed numerous landscape scale partnerships, including: the Derwent Catchment, Ecclesbourne Catchment, Erewash Valley, Derby Peregrines and Transforming the Trent partnerships, with a variety of funding mechanisms.

Head of Property Service, Peak District National Park Authority (1994-2011)

  • Head of a very broad Property Service for 4 years and prior to that as a Land Manager
  • led the development of many landscape scale partnerships and action plans, often engaging a broad range of partners, stakeholders and the general public.   For example:
  • the ground-breaking Eastern Moors Partnership between the Peak District National Park Authority, RSPB, the National Trust, Sheffield City Council and Sheffield Wildlife Trust
  • the Roaches Partnership with Staffordshire Wildlife Trust
  • the £4million Pedal Peak District Project which saw the reopening of tunnels on the spectacular Monsal (cycle) Trail through the heart of the National Park

Rural Surveyor, Griffiths Mumford Chartered Surveyors (1993-94)

  • private practice advice on land management issues in rural Worcestershire



2007           Level 3 Leadership Award, Institute of Leadership & Management


1996           Assessment of Professional Competence, Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors


1990-94      BSc (Hons): Rural Enterprise & Land Management, Harper Adams University