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18 DECEMBER 2012 NEWS RELEASE No: 15786

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Sir Harry Studholme appointed Interim Chair of Forestry Commission

Forestry Commissioner Sir Harry Studholme has been appointed interim Chair of the Board of Forestry Commissioners from 1 January until 30 June 2013.

Sir Harry, who has been a GB Commissioner since 2007 and who has owned woodlands for more than 20 years, said,

“It’s a privilege to step into the role at such a critical time. Recent events have reminded us of the value and importance of our forestry expertise, and that the Forestry Commission’s staff rank among our nation’s most professional, practical and effective public servants.”

He also acknowledged the complexity of current challenges.

“I very much look forward to meeting staff and partners in the coming weeks and months, and discussing how we take forward the Government’s response to the Independent Panel on Forestry in England,” he said.

“We also need to help Natural Resources Wales get off to the best possible start, while reaffirming the importance of our work in Scotland and our central services, including the expertise provided by our Forest Research agency.”

The interim appointment follows Pam Warhurst CBE’s three-year term as Chair, which concludes on 31 December 2012. A new Chair will be recruited to take up the post from summer 2013.

Biography:

Sir Harry Studholme has owned and managed forests in South West England for more than 20 years. He was Deputy Chairman of the Independent Panel on Forestry, which reported in July 2012 on the future of English forestry. His current commitments include chairing an investment trust owning forestry across five continents, including South America and Africa.

Sir Harry was Chairman of the South West Regional Development Agency from 2009 to 2012. He chaired the Finding Sanctuary project, working with environmentalists and the fishing industry on proposals for marine conservation from 2007 to 2011. He is an Engineering graduate of Cambridge University, a Chartered Accountant (FCA), a Chartered Tax Adviser (CTA) and accredited Commercial Mediator (CEDR).

NOTES TO EDITOR:

  1. Sir Harry’s appointment has been made in accordance with the Code of Practice issued by the Commissioner for Public Appointments. Defra emphasised that all appointments are made on merit and political activity plays no part in the selection process.
  2. The Board of Forestry Commissioners oversees the work of the Forestry Commission on behalf of Ministers. The Commission's National Committees for England, Scotland and Wales carry out some of the functions of the Commissioners at country level. Further information is available at www.forestry.gov.uk/commissioners.
  3. Natural Resources Wales (NRW) is the new environmental management and regulatory body being established by the Welsh Government. It will replace Forestry Commission Wales, the Countryside Council for Wales and the Environment Agency Wales from 1 April 2013.

MEDIA CONTACT: Charlton Clark, 0131 314 6500 

e-mail: charlton.clark@forestry.gsi.gov.uk