The AONB Team

Nick Johannsen
AONB Director
Nick works with our partners to develop and promote the vision and strategic direction for the management of the Kent Downs AONB, he liaises at a local, regional and national level to secure commitment, policy, resources and action which will conserve and enhance the natural beauty of the area. He leads on the Management Plan review, oversees the work of the Unit and its delivery of the policies and actions of the plan. Nick also supports many partnership projects, amongst other work he is chairman of the Board of the ‘Up on the Downs’ Landscape Partnership scheme operating around Dover and Folkestone, chairman of the steering group of the Our Land sustainable rural tourism project, chairman of the Kent Landscape Group, chairman of the Mid Kent Downs Countryside Partnership, chairman of the North Downs Way National Trail Steering Group, chairman of the Darent Valley Landscape Partnership Scheme  and  he sits on the Kent Countryside Access Forum.

Katie Miller
Planning Manager

Katie is responsible for
• working with other AONBs in interpretation of National Planning Policy and best practice.
• responding to strategic planning documents,
• commenting on planning applications and supporting Local Authorities at appeal,
• providing pre – application advice in partnership with the LPAs and Natural England
• providing guidance to Parish Councils
• producing guidance and providing training by working with partners to help promote good planning advice across the AONB.

Rick Bayne
Landscapes Partnership Manager

Rick leads on the development and delivery of Heritage Lottery Funded Landscape Partnerships in the AONB. He is currently developing project details for the Darent Valley Landscape Partnership Scheme which was allocated a £2.1 million grant by the Heritage Lottery Fund in November 2014.  He delivered the Valley of Visions Landscape Partnership Scheme in the Medway Gap from 2007 - June 2013.

Catherine Brady
European Project Development Officer

Catherine oversees the management of the Units Interreg and Education projects. Catherine also develops new projects for external funding applications

Lisa Monk-Jones
Finance, Reporting and Partnership Officer

Lisa is responsible  for the preparation of financial claims for funders and the preparation/sorting of match funding evidence. She also produces financial reports and financial monitoring reports.

Tim Owen
Partnership and Funding Officer

Tim works on the following areas:
• Undergrounding of overhead electricity cables, a partnership project with other protected landscapes and UK Power Networks
• Village signing programme
• Monitoring the management plan outputs and actions
• Fixed Point Photography monitoring programme (as part of monitoring the landscape condition)
• GIS support for the AONB team and partners

Peter Morris
North Downs Way Trail Manager

Responsible for the maintenance and enhancement of the North Downs Way National Trail running from Farnham through the Surrey Hills AONB and Kent Downs AONB to the Dover Coastline. Working in partnership with multiple agencies and stakeholders along the trail corridor to ensure the trail is promoted effectively and local business and communities are engaged for the benefit of all. 

Pippa Palmar
Senior Partnership Officer for Orchards

Pippa leads the Kent Orchards for Everyone Project which works with 15 traditional community orchards in and around the Kent Downs. With a background in Heritage fruit production Pippa provides the support to the parish councils and orchard groups to conserve and restore their community orchards. The four year project will create a footplate for villagers to celebrate their heritage, to volunteer and collaborate in surveys, to participate in educational events and establish good management practices within our community orchards in the Garden of England.

Jen Smith
Interpretation and Community Engagement Officer

Jen is currently working on the stage 2 development bid to the Heritage Lottery Fund for the Darent Valley Landscape Partnership. Working alongside the Landscapes Partnership Manager, Jen’s role focusses on the people, community and interpretation elements of the landscape partnership specifically to produce an audience development plan and interpretation strategy for the area. She also supports the ongoing communications and promotion work of the AONB.