Sally Benthall headshot

Sally Benthall

Sally has worked for over 30 years in environmental conservation, first for WWF-UK and then for the Galapagos Conservation Trust, which she helped to establish. She is a founding trustee of LandWorks, an independent charity that provides a supported route back into employment and the community for those in prison or at risk of going to prison. She also manages a farm in Devon, with a focus on regenerative agriculture.

Andy Bryant portrait

Andy Bryant

Andy is Managing Director of Red Bee, a London-based, globally-acclaimed creative agency specialising in communications, advertising and design for media brands including Discovery Networks, NBCUniversal, Netflix, the BBC, and Disney, as well as non-media brands like Barclays, Nissan and Hyundai and charities including BBC Children in Need, Comic Relief, Soccer Aid for Unicef and the National Deaf Children’s Society. 

Andy has over 30 years of experience in advertising, marketing, broadcasting and strategic consultancy, both in the UK and Australia. He is an Honorary Professor in Film & Media at the University of Nottingham as well as an Independent Member of Council at the University of Sussex.  Andy joined the Board in September 2020.

Fay Cook portrait

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.

Photo of Steve Horley

Steve Horley

Steve has worked in technology for 20 years, growing a number of Telecoms & Internet of Things businesses from start-ups into well-known brands. He is now an active investor in the renewable energy sector, as an advisor to Japan-based TEPCO Ventures and Energy & Environment Investments Inc, a non-Executive Director on the UK board of HomeServe PLC, and as an investor in electric vehicle charge-point maker EO Charging & battery software pioneer Moixa. Brought up in the Surrey Hills, Steve has a life-long love of trees and woodland.  Steve joined the Board in September 2020.

James Ogilvie portrait

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.

Woodland Trust trustee Mark Preston

Mark Preston

Mark Preston, FRICS, is the executive trustee of the Grosvenor Estate with overall responsibility for the Grosvenor family’s business interests. He also holds the position of chief executive of Grosvenor Group to which he was appointed in 2008.

He is a member of the (University of) Cambridge Land Economy Advisory Board and an honorary vice-president of the Cambridge University Land Society.

Mark is a trustee of the Urban Land Institute (ULI) and a trustee of the Westminster Foundation. In September 2019 Mark was appointed a trustee of the Woodland Trust.

Julia Smithies portrait

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.

Baroness Barbara Young portrait

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.

Chris Zissis headshot

Chris Zissis

Chris is a CIO and CTO with extensive experience across technology, data, digital and transformation possessing a solid track record of global to local delivery at scale in professional services, financial services, capital markets and real estate services across the globe. He has a keen interest in sustainability, and particularly the role that technology can help play in achieving this.

Chris currently holds the position of Global Head of Technology and Chief Technology Officer at Nuveen Real Estate and Real Assets. Chris joined the Trust’s Board in June 2020.

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