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Mary-Ann Ochota

Trustee 2021-2024

Email Mary-Ann

01796 470 080

Mary-Ann Ochota

Candidate Statement

I’m a broadcaster and anthropologist with a passion for making wild places accessible to all. I’m a hillwalking ambassador for the British Mountaineering Council, a fellow of the Royal Geographical Society and a lifetime member of the Open Spaces Society.

I have active relationships with national charities and media outlets working to increase people’s connection with nature, conservation and outdoor activities. On the business side, I hosted the CBI’s 2020 Achieving Net Zero and Diversity & Inclusion conferences, interviewing thought-leaders from across industry. 

I would strive to harness this broad network and my research, communications and public engagement expertise to help the Trust in its strategic and public-facing work.

I’m based in Hertfordshire, and can offer insight from communities who might only visit wild places occasionally, but whose ‘hearts and minds’ are vital in shaping policy and public opinion. As a mixed-race woman, I’d bring fresh perspectives to the Trustee team, essential to ensure the John Muir Trust remains agile and relevant in a rapidly changing world.

I’m currently working with Trust management to initiate a network of outdoor leaders from diverse backgrounds, and am inspired by the passion I’ve seen in the work so far.

The Trust is uniquely positioned to advocate for the interconnected needs of remote rural communities, visitors and the natural environment. Real sustainability must be dynamic, pragmatic and always embedded in local context. This is where the John Muir Trust excels, and speaks with authority to those in power.

Priorities include:

  • Increasing the diversity of people engaging with wild places and the Trust’s work.
  • Strategic campaigning to ensure national policy, and local management, is truly sustainable.
  • Evidence-based exemplary land management, demonstrating how people and nature can thrive together.

This would be my first trustee role - I’d relish the opportunity to get stuck in and learn fast!

Nominated by

Shane Ohly; Chris Townsend; Emily Henderson; Philip Graves; Chris Loynes

Member since

2020

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