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Chief Executive of the National Forest Company Announces her Departure

Monday, 30th June 2014

Following the successful launch of the strategy for the next decade of The National Forest, the Chief Executive of the National Forest Company, Sophie Churchill OBE, has announced that she will step down at Christmas.

The Chair of the National Forest Company, Catherine Graham-Harrison OBE, said: 'It is never easy to say goodbye to an outstanding Chief Executive but we are in an excellent position to find a worthy successor to Sophie. With the new strategy published and The National Forest in a strong position, enjoying great national and local support, it’s the right time for a new person to come and take forward this wonderful initiative.'

Sophie said: 'I can say wholeheartedly, from my experience of the last eight years, that it is hard to imagine a more enjoyable and rewarding role and I am sure that the success of the National Forest Company and our many partners in the forest will continue.

'I have wanted to move on only when our future was assured and there was a plan for managing the forest going forward. Both of those are in place and I have announced my departure early so that we can have a planned succession.'

On 25th June 2014, the National Forest Company published the forest’s strategy for 2014 – 2024, confirming continuing creation of forest sites and an increasing focus on woodland management, with a shift towards more investment to make the most of the forest. There will be a renewed emphasis on making it easier for visitors and locals to enjoy the forest that meets their particular interests. The National Forest Company is expecting to become a charity and ultimately independent from Government.