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New Board Members for The National Forest Company

Tuesday, 17th April 2007

The National Forest Company (NFC) has appointed three new non-executive directors to its Board, Barry Gardiner MP, Minister for Biodiversity, Landscape and Rural Affairs, has announced. They take up their new roles in April 2007.

Robin Pellew joins the Board of the NFC following a career that started as a forest manager and took him to the post of Chief Executive with the WWF-UK (World Wildlife Fund) and more recently Chief Executive with the National Trust for Scotland. He brings with him extensive experience of working with the different needs of wildlife, public access and local communities as well understanding the commercial realities of farming, forestry and rural businesses.

Susan Warren is based in Market Harborough and is currently Deputy Executive Director for Groundwork North Northamptonshire. She started her career with BTCV, the leading conservation charity, and has worked in New Zealand and the UK developing and promoting footpath network projects. She is committed to ensuring everyone has the opportunity to enjoy the countryside and experience the outdoors.

Peter Webster joins the Board of the NFC having most recently been Director of Environment at Nottinghamshire County Council. A planner by profession he has worked in senior posts in the East Midlands since 1989 and lives just outside The National Forest near Loughborough. He has considerable knowledge of government policies in the countryside and has worked extensively on sustainable development and Local Agenda 21 issues.

The new appointments have been made as current Board members John Perry, Jean Tallantire and Fiona Tilley come to the end of their terms of service. Over their years of service to the National Forest Company John Perry chaired the Planning and Audit committees and helped develop new trails within the Forest, Jean Tallantire has served as Chair of the National Forest Tourism, and Access and Recreation working groups and Fiona Tilley has worked with the Chair and Chief Executive on sustainability issues.

Barry Gardiner said: "The National Forest Company is delivering one of Britain’s boldest environmental initiatives, and I believe that the new appointees will make an excellent contribution to the Board’s work."

National Forest Company Chair, Dinah Nichols, said: "I am delighted to welcome all three new Directors to the Board of the National Forest Company. Together they bring a wealth of skills and experience in the fields of planning, biodiversity, tourism, public access and community engagement. The NFC Board leads the UK's most ambitious multipurpose forestry project, and it therefore needs members with wide and varied experience of the environmental, social and economic aspects of major landscape change.

“Our three retiring Board members have provided invaluable leadership and guidance during their terms of office. They have all been invited to become Ambassadors for the Forest and maintain their links with us."

New Board member Susan Warren said: “I am very excited to be able to make a contribution to this fantastic initiative. Having family here, I visit the area regularly and have seen the really positive changes that have taken place. I will now have a great excuse to get out and about and explore all the places I haven’t found yet.

“The National Forest has so much to offer each and every one of us – whether it’s walking the dog, enjoying rural crafts, going for a picnic, exploring the new landscape. This is a real place where people live, work and enjoy their leisure time, an exciting place with opportunities to get involved and try something new around every corner.”

Peter Webster said: “I am really looking forward to my new role working with the National Forest Company to create The National Forest. In an earlier job in Leicestershire I was part of the bidding team to secure The National Forest for this area, and since then I have followed its development and success with great interest. I am delighted to now have the opportunity to make a positive contribution to this marvellous project.”