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Panel members’ biographies

Bishop James Jones – Chair

James Jones has been Bishop of Liverpool since 1998 and was Bishop of Hull 1994-98. he is a regular broadcaster on Radio 4’s “Thought for the Day”.

He is a Member of the House of Lords where he serves on the Select Committee on Communications. He is Bishop for Prisons, Visitor to St Peter’s College Oxford, Co-President of Liverpool Hope University, WWF Ambassador, a Fellow of the RSA, Honorary Fellow of the Chartered Institution of Water and Environmental Management, Vice President of the Town and Country Planning Association, Trustee National Museums Liverpool. The Bishop is Chair of the Hillsborough Independent Panel.

Shireen Chambers

Shireen Chambers is the Executive Director of the Institute of Chartered Foresters.

She has an extensive background in forestry in the UK and internationally, spending time working with the Government of the Bahamas to set up a new forestry department. She is also on the Board of Governors of the Macaulay Land Use research Institute.

She was a non-executive director of Scottish Natural Heritage’s West Area Board and was a former Chair of the Forestry Commission’s Regional Advisory Committee for Mid-Scotland.

Dr Mike Clarke

Mike Clarke is the Chief Executive of the RSPB.

For over 20 years he has worked for the RSPB, beginning in 1988 as one of the RSPB’s first Conservation Officers, through to his most recent role as Director of Operations, running the RSPB’s work throughout England, Wales and Northern Ireland. Dr Clarke’s passion for conservation of the natural world grew out of his childhood love of nature, combined with making a difference through teenage volunteering. Dr Clarkes’s scientific background encompasses post-graduate and professional experience of plant and animal ecology, soil science, geology, hydrology, and climate change.

The RSPB has 1,500 employees, 12,200 volunteers and over 1 million members (including 150,000 youth members), making it the largest wildlife conservation charity in Europe. The RSPB has a number of local groups and maintains over 150 reserves across the United Kingdom.

Tom Franklin

Tom Franklin is Chief Executive of the education charity, Think Global, which promotes learning about global issues like sustainability and climate change.  Until January 2012, he was Chief Executive of the Ramblers, Britain’s walking charity.

Prior to that, he was Chief Executive of Living Streets (formerly called the Pedestrians Association) for five years. He was also a councillor in the London Borough of Lambeth for twelve years, including periods as Leader of the Council and Chair of the Housing Committee, where he led the borough during a period of major service improvement and modernisation.

Tom is also a trustee of the new Canal and River Trust, which is due to take over the running of Britain’s canals and rivers from British Waterways during 2012. 

Stuart Goodall

Stuart Goodall is Chief Executive of the Confederation of Forest Industries (ConFor).

ConFor represents forestry and wood-using businesses across the UK. Stuart has over 20 years experience in forestry and wood, working both in the public sector for the Forestry Commission in a variety of policy development and representational roles, and in the private sector with ConFor.

Stuart regularly writes and speaks on forestry and climate change matters. He is a member of Scotland’s 2020 Climate Group.

Stephanie Hilborne

Stephanie Hilborne OBE is Chief Executive of The Wildlife Trusts.

Driven by her concern for the future of the natural world, Stephanie’s conviction is that The Wildlife Trusts have a key role to play as a result of their locus in the community. The Trust is made up of 47 local Wildlife Trusts, has more than 800,000 members, and manages thousands of nature reserves. The level of engagement and ownership that each Wildlife Trusts engenders is in her view key to inspiring hope for the future as the country faces new challenges.

Stephanie secured a BSc in Biology and MSc in Conservation and went on to facilitate the national coalition Wildlife & Countryside Link before joining The Wildlife Trust movement in 1998 and becoming Chief Executive in 2004.

Sue Holden

Sue joined the Woodland Trust as chief executive in February 2005.

The Woodland Trust has over 250 employees and cares for more than 1,000 woods, covering 20,000 hectares (50,000 acres). After graduating from Cambridge University with a geography degree, she worked for Shell International and Shell UK, before deciding to change careers to develop her interest in environmental issues. Sue spent eight years with the National Trust, latterly as Business Administration Director, prior to joining the Woodland Trust.

Sue has been a member and supporter of the Woodland Trust for many years. She lives in Lincolnshire and her interests include hillwalking, sea kayaking, windsurfing, gardening and, not surprisingly, tree planting.

Dr Alan Knight OBE 

Alan Knight has spent the vast proportion of his working career leading solutions to some key environmental and social issues that impact on business and public policy.

Alan joins Business in the Community in March 2012 as their Environmental Sustainability Director and this follows a career of 20 years working within business. He has been an advisor on sustainable development to the Virgin Group and through his own consultancy business provided advice and speaking services to over 50 companies or organisations. He is a non-executive director of WRAP and was an International Board Member Forest Stewardship Council and a Commissioner on the Sustainable Development Commission. In 2010 he founded the Global Association of Corporate Sustainability Officers (GACSO) as a body to help develop the career of full time corporate sustainability officers. 

He was head of Sustainable Development at SABMiller 2003-06, Head of Corporate Social Responsibility at Kingfisher 2000-03 and Environment & Sustainable Development Controller at B&Q 1990- 2000.

Dame Fiona Reynolds DBE

Fiona Reynolds has been Director-General of the National Trust since January 2001, and has seen membership grow to 3.5 million people.

The charity looks after 612,000 acres (2,480 km2) of land in the UK. Before taking up the post, she was Director of the Women’s Unit in the Cabinet Office and was previously Director of the Council for the Protection of Rural England (now Campaign to Protect Rural England) and Secretary to the Council for National Parks.

She was also a Member of the Policy Commission on the Future of Food and Farming (2001 – 02) chaired by Sir Don Curry, and from 2005 to the present is a Member of the Commission on the Future of Volunteering. Fiona was awarded the CBE for services to the environment and conservation in 1998 and appointed a DBE in 2008.

Sir Harry Studholme

Appointed Forestry Commissioner in 2007. Sir Harry has been involved in business in South West England for the last 30 years.

He has worked in accounting and general management in a range of sectors; including manufacturing, land management and insurance, and in organisations ranging in size from quoted companies to small business. He is Chairman of the South West Regional Development Agency and of the Steering Group of Finding Sanctuary, a project to create Marine Protected areas and sustainable fisheries off the South West. He is a director of Phaunos Timber Fund Ltd, a quoted investment trust owning forests on 5 continents.

From 2004 to 2008 he was Chairman of South West Food and Drink. His own business interests include the Perridge Estate, which includes a 140 hectare in-hand farm, 263 hectares of woodland, and both residential and light industrial property letting.

John Varley

Estates Director of Clinton Devon Estates.

He joined after a career in general management with BT plc, mainly in the global division. His current non executive positions include Board Member, the Environment Agency, membership of the National Trust Land Use and Access Panel and the Royal Agricultural Society of England Practice with Science Group.

Previously John has been a Board Member of the Countryside Agency, the Commission for Rural Communities (CRC) and the South West Chamber or Rural Enterprise. He has also been a member of the Government’s Digital Inclusion Panel, the Rural Economy and Land Use stakeholder panel, the CRC’s Inquiry into the Future of England’s Upland Communities and more recently, the Lawton Review “Making Space for Nature”.

William Worsley

William Worsley is a businessman, farmer and forester.

He is a Fellow of the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors and lives at Hovingham, North Yorkshire, where he runs a family business involving farming, forestry and residential and commercial property. He is also a non-executive director of The Brunner Investment Trust plc.

After attending the Royal Agricultural College at Cirencester, William qualified as a Rural Chartered Surveyor, practised as a land agent and ran his own property business before taking over the management of the family business.

He was President of the Country Land and Business Association from 2009 to 2011. He is a former chairman of the Howardian Hills Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty Joint Advisory Committee and is a former member of the North York Moors National Park Authority and the Forestry Commission’s Advisory Panel.

Page last modified: 27 February 2012