TWO new appointments have been made to the Yorkshire Dales National Park Authority.

Neil Heseltine has been confirmed by the Secretary of State as a parish member while North Yorkshire County Council has appointed freelance journalist John Ritchie to fill the vacancy left following the death of Coun Polly English.

The appointments mean the authority now has its full complement of 22 members.

Neil Heseltine is a fourth generation farmer from Malham and was educated at Ermysteds Grammar School in Skipton and Seale Hayne Agricultural College. He spent time travelling and working on farms in New Zealand and Scotland before returning to Malham. A keen rugby player and cricketer, he is a member of Malham Parish Council and is a former chairman of the Malham Show.

John Ritchie has previously been a member of the North Yorks Moors National Park Authority and is a volunteer with the Scarborough Lifeboat Crew and a founder member of the Borough of Scarborough Fair-trade Group.

After serving in HM Forces and the West Yorkshire Fire Service, he studied journalism and joined the Scarborough Evening News as a reporter, leaving in 2010 to work as a freelance journalist.