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Judith Webb, a leading environmentalist who has worked extensively in Wales, declared herself “delighted and very proud” after receiving an MBE in the Queen’s Birthday honours for services to conservation in Wales and England.
As a Commissioner for Forestry Commission Wales, Judith has played a key role in developing many of the Welsh Government’s policies that have helped to shape much of the Welsh countryside.
Ms Webb, who lives in Dulas, in the Marches near Abergavenny, used to farm part-time in West Wales and has run her own consultancy business specialising in woodland management, land-use policy and conservation schemes for the past 20 years.
A member of the Royal Welsh Agricultural Society's forestry committee, Ms Webb is a former director and trustee and is now Chair of the Best Practice Group of the Deer Initiative, which aims to maintain a sustainable, well-managed wild deer population in Wales and England.
On her award, she said, “I am delighted and very proud, but also humbled to gain this recognition of my work. It has been something I have enjoyed doing and which, I hope, has brought benefits to the many people who enjoy the countryside for a variety of reasons.
“The way we manage the Welsh countryside is at an exciting crossroads and I look forward to playing a full role in the decisions which will influence how we look after our most prized asset for years to come.”
Ms Webb was chair of Defra’s Rural Development Service during its transition into Natural England and was formerly a member of the Forestry Commission’s National Committee for England.
She was also a member of the Commission’s Regional Advisory Committee for Wales until 2004.
Ms Webb has worked in the public and private sectors in England, Scotland and Wales – mostly woodland or farming linked – including as a farm conservation adviser and an urban fringe land management project officer.
She has also worked as a local authority forestry officer and as technical and policy adviser on forestry and woodlands for the Confederation of Forest Industries and the Country Land and Business Association.
She has been involved in the establishment of a number of bodies including the Small Woods Association, the Wales Forest Business Partnership and the England Forest Industries Partnership.
NOTES TO EDITORS
A total of 14.3 per cent of Wales is covered by woodlands. Of this, 38% (126,000 hectares/311,000 acres) is owned by the Welsh Government.
Forestry Commission Wales is the Welsh Government’s department of forestry and manages these woodlands on its behalf.
Forestry Commission Wales provides advice on forestry policy to the Minister responsible for forestry. It provides grant aid to other woodland owners and regulates forestry by issuing felling licences.
Forestry Commission Wales is also part of Forestry Commission GB and contributes to the international forestry agenda.
More information on the woodlands of Wales is available on www.forestry.gov.uk/wales
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