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  • Writer's pictureDorset National Park Team

Michael Dower RIP

It is with deep sadness that we report the death of one of the Dorset National Park patrons, Professor Michael Dower CBE.


Michael Dower

Michael devoted his life with passion and complete commitment to the environment and nature, the wellbeing of rural communities, and to our National Parks. In this lifelong work, he followed in the formidable footsteps of his father John Dower and his mother Pauline and was their more than worthy heir. He was a former Chief Executive of the Peak District National Park and Director-General of the Countryside Commission (the predecessor of Natural England, the government agency responsible, inter alia, for advice to government about policy and funding for national parks). The Peak Park had a lovely piece about him here in the context of the 70th anniversary of its designation. When he retired from the Countryside Commission, Michael became Professor of European Rural Development at the University of Gloucestershire.


He was a patron, great advocate and supporter of the campaign for a Dorset National Park, and fully appreciated how this would benefit our communities, countryside, rural economy and the climate cause.  Michael was for many years a colleague, mentor and wonderful, kind and considerate friend. We shall miss him very much indeed.


Michael’s outstanding ability, shining integrity, sincere commitment, enviable energy and warm and caring personality shone through on every occasion. Age did not dim his passion or integrity, his extraordinary ability or energy. He remains a great role model and inspiration to us all.

Photograph: Peak District National Park

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