The National Trust has named Mike Innerdale as its new regional director for the North of England, and Jeremy Barlow as the assistant director for Cumbria and North Lancashire.

Mr Innerdale, the previous assistant director for the region, said he was immensely proud to be appointed to a senior leadership role in Europe’s fourth largest conservation charity.

The 47-year-old, who lives with his family in the Eden Valley, has worked for the National Trust for 12 years.

His interest in land management began with geography studies at St Martin’s College in Lancaster.

A summer spent with a Lake District ranger led to a spell with The Conservation Volunteers (BTCV) and jobs at the Forestry Commission in Grizedale and Whinlatter.

He has also worked for the Forestry Commission in the North York Moors, Severn Trent Water in the Peak District and the North of England Reserves Manager for the RSPB.

In his new role, Mr Innerdale has overall responsibility for the operation, care and management of the trust’s places across the North of England, including nearly 96,000 hectares of countryside, 51 miles of coastline, and 690 listed buildings.

He said: “I am as passionate now as I was when I started my career 20 years ago, in engaging people with conservation and beautiful locations.

"A priority for me will be doing more to make everyone feel welcome and that we have something relevant to offer.

"We want to reflect more of the rich diversity of cultures and distinctive regional personalities across the North of England and help others who also look after special places."

Mr Barlow has worked with the trust in the Lake District for nearly 20 years.