Skip Navigation

Our trustees

We, like every other UK charity, are governed by a group of trustees who make up the Board. Trustees are required to retire every four years and may offer themselves for reappointment for a further period of four years.

Our trustees

 
Humphrey Battcock

Humphrey Battcock

Humphrey is a Managing Partner at Advent International, one of the world’s largest and most global private equity firms. He has worked in private equity for 30 years, during which time he has served on the boards of 23 companies in a variety of industries. He also serves on the Cambridge Campaign Board and is a trustee of the Institute for Research in Schools and lectures at Oxford Business School. Humphrey was appointed to our Board in February 2012.

Sally Benthall

Sally Benthall

Sally worked for 30 years in environmental conservation, first for WWF UK and then for the Galapagos Conservation Trust, which she helped to establish. She is part of the Campaign Council of Fitzwilliam College, Cambridge and a founding trustee of LandWorks, providing a supported route back into the community for prisoners. Sally joined the Board in March 2017.

Fay Cooke

Fay Cooke

Fay trained as a scientist, completing a PhD in cell biology, before pursuing a career in finance. She qualified with Deloitte and has subsequently held a variety of roles in industry; she now leads the finance team at Yeo Valley, Britain's largest organic brand. Her interests include narrative reporting and the psychology and governance of decision making. She is passionate about the environment, conservation and animal welfare. Fay joined the Board in December 2018.

Mike Greenwood

Mike Greenwood

Mike has long experience in programme making and commissioning in BBC Radio and TV and as an independent producer. He has worked with many organisations to increase their impact via digital media. He teaches, writes and has an interest in the cultural history of woodland. Mike joined the Board in February 2012.

Patrick Macdonald

Patrick Macdonald

An engineer by training, Patrick is chairman of Corona Corporate Solutions, a privately owned managed print business. He is co-founder of the School for CEOs. Previously, he was chief executive of John Menzies plc and chairman of Reconomy. He is a fellow of the Royal Society of Arts and a Companion of the Chartered Management Institute. Patrick joined the Trust’s Board in February 2012.

Paul Nevett

Paul Nevett

Paul has spent his career mostly in food and drink marketing, working in Danone and Unilever. Most recently he ran the consumer marketing for the Unilever corporate brand across international markets. He is a lifelong a believer in conservation and is passionate about the natural world. He has had the privilege to be able to drive projects that deliver sustainability benefits, and build brands with value. Paul joined the Board in March 2018.

James Ogilvie

James Ogilvie

A Chartered Forester, James’ forestry career spans forty years, most recently leading social policy in Forestry Commission Scotland (including communities, access, recreation and health). A Director of Borders Forest Trust and a Tree Aid Business Ambassador, James is fortunate to manage a small award-winning woodland in Northumberland. His books include Heritage Trees of Scotland. James joined the Board in September 2018.

Julia Smithies

Julia Smithies

Julia is a chartered accountant and retired from PwC after 33 years where she led various parts of the tax practice, and held senior strategic and governance roles. Julia is also a member of the Advisory Board for the International Opera Awards. Throughout her life, from "planting a tree in '73" as a young girl, to learning to build dry-stone walls in preparation for retirement, Julia has taken an active interest in plants, trees, the British Countryside and the wildlife it supports. Julia is passionate about the natural legacy we leave to future generations. Julia joined the Board in March 2017.

Richard Sykes

Richard Sykes

Richard, now retired, spent his career with PriceWaterhouseCooper, leading their governance, risk and compliance client facing initiatives. Richard is a fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants and a director of Buro Happold. Richard joined the Trust’s Board in September 2013.

Barbara Young

Barbara Young

Barbara, Baroness Young of Old Scone, is a Member of the House of Lords with special interests, among others, in the environment, agriculture, natural resources and climate change. She has been Chairman of the Woodland Trust since 2016 and Chancellor of Cranfield University since 2010. Barbara was also appointed the Chairman of Council at the Royal Veterinary College in July 2019.

Her other voluntary positions include President of Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire and Northamptonshire Wildlife Trust; Honorary President of the South Georgia Heritage Trust; Patron of the Chartered Institute of Environmental Management; and Vice President of RSPB, Bird Life International and Flora and Fauna International. She has formerly held a variety of environmental leadership roles, including Chief Executive of RSPB, Chairman of English Nature and Chief Executive of the Environment Agency.

Baroness Young has also held leadership positions in health and social care, including management of health authorities in both Scotland and London. She was the founding Chairman of the Care Quality Commission and Chief Executive of health charity Diabetes UK.

Other posts Barbara has held include vice Chairman of the BBC and as a non-executive director of AWG plc.

Baroness Young has a number of honorary designations and was elected an Honorary Fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh in 2017.