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Barbara Young to become our new Chair

We're delighted to announce the appointment of Baroness Young of Old Scone as our next Chair. She will take up the role in May 2016 when our current Chair, Dr Nicola Nicholls, steps down after six years as Chair.

Lady Barbara Young - who will help guide us as we embark on our ambitious new 10 year strategy in 2016 - was created a life peer on 4 November 1997 as Baroness Young of Old Scone in Perth and Kinross. In her own words she has been ‘an advocate of the environment for over 25 years’ which is proven by her experience. 

She brings with her a wealth of experience gained from her many executive and non-executive positions as chair or chief executive in environmental, environmental regulatory, environmental advocate and legislator roles.

"The Woodland Trust is an excellent charity working for a great cause that the public really care about and so do I. I am excited to have been appointed Chair and look forward to working with the Trustees, Beccy and the staff, and all our hugely committed volunteers and supporters to protect our woods and trees."
Lady Barbara Young of Old Scone

Her career started with a number of positions ranging across health care management prior to becoming Chief Executive of the RSPB in 1991, a role she held until 1998 when she became Chair of English Nature and Vice Chairman of the BBC. In 2000 she became Chief Executive of the Environment Agency.

After leaving the Environment Agency in 2008, Lady Young took the Chair of the Care Quality Commission prior to becoming Chief Executive of Diabetes UK in 2010, a role she performed until earlier this year.

In her public life Lady Young is President, Vice-President or Patron of a range of environmental and conservation charities, including the RSPB, Birdlife International, The South Georgia Heritage Trust, Flora and Fauna International, Plantlife, the Wildlife Trust for Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire and Northamptonshire, Lantra and the Institute of Ecological and Environmental Management.

Beccy Speight, Woodland Trust Chief Executive said:

"Lady Barbara Young’s appointment comes at a time when we are embarking on an ambitious new 10 year plan, due to be unveiled in early 2016. This is at a time when the UK’s woods and trees face unprecedented threats from inappropriate development, climate change and pests and diseases.

"The Woodland Trust is planning to protect, create and restore more trees and woods than ever before in its history, contributing to resilient landscapes and urban spaces, inspiring people up and down the country to visit woods, plant trees, treasure wildlife, and enjoy the overwhelming benefits that woods and trees offer to our lives."

By the end of 2015 we will have worked with 22,739 schools, planted trees with 4.8m children and distributed over 10,000 free tree packs to schools and communities.

In total the Trust has planted over 32m trees and created over 46,500 acres of woodland on it’s or other people’s land and is fighting to protect and restore more ancient woodland than ever before.