A FORMER Tesco boss is to use some of his supermarket skills across a 554sq mile national park after being selected to lead it through the numerous post-coronavirus challenges.

Tom Hind, who was responsible for building relationships with farmers at Tesco, will replace Andy Wilson as chief executive of the North York Moors National Park Authority, who is retiring after 20 years in the role.

Mr Hind, whose career has also seen him undertake senior National Farmers Union roles, will be responsible for 26 miles of coastline, two national nature reserves, 840 scheduled monuments and more than 3,000 listed buildings, attracting an estimated eight million visitors a year.

Speaking on his appointment, he said he would bring “experience and passion" to the park authority, which is facing numerous changes to its plans following the pandemic.

Mr Hind, who is fluent in French, said: “Growing up in Yorkshire and enjoying the beauty and tranquillity of the national park as a visitor – this means a great deal to me on both a personal and professional level.

“Our natural landscapes are inspiring in themselves, but the value the national park brings goes so much further, whether it’s the exceptional apprenticeship programme, incredible conservation work or engagement with the local community.”

Jim Bailey, chairman of the authority, said Mr Hind’s “strategic talent and energy” had impressed members during interview, as had the depth of his research.

He said: “We are much indebted to Andy and he’s a hard act to follow. It’s not about knowing all the answers right now, of course we don’t. However, in Tom I’m very confident of his commitment to finding the best answers for the good of the national park and for all who care for future of the North York Moors.”