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Sir William Worsley re-appointed as Forestry Commission Chair

Environment Secretary confirms that Sir William Worsley has been reappointed as Chair of the Forestry Commission

Environment Secretary Thérèse Coffey yesterday (Monday 6 February 2023) confirmed that Sir William Worsley has been reappointed, by way of Royal Warrant, as Chair of Forestry Commission for a second term. His second term will run for three years from 10 February 2023 to 9 February 2026.

During his first term, Sir William led the implementation of the England Trees Action Plan - which sets out the government’s long-term vision to enhance our treescape between now and 2050. This includes work which is currently underway to triple the rate of tree-planting in this country by the end of the current Parliament in 2025.

Tree-planting is one of the cornerstones of the government’s ongoing action to combat climate change and reach net zero. Sir William will continue to lead the work of the Forestry Commission, which has a vital role in delivering ambitious plans for England’s forests and woodlands.

Commenting on his re-appointment, Sir William Worsley said:

Healthy and productive trees bring a range of environmental, economic and social benefits - capturing carbon, powering our thriving forestry sector and improving the health and wellbeing of local communities. I am therefore delighted to be re-appointed as Chair of the Forestry Commission.

I am proud to have overseen the implementation of the England Trees Action Plan, which is driving our ambition to treble tree planting rates by the end of this Parliament. It is my personal mission to build on these efforts to protect and expand our nation’s trees, woodlands and forests for the benefit of all.

Environment Secretary Thérèse Coffey said:

Sir William has provided robust leadership as Chair of Forestry Commission, bringing a strong sense of duty and a wealth of experience to the organisation, and I am pleased he will continue as Chair for a second term.

I look forward to further working with Sir William and the Forestry Commission in delivering our ambitious plans to triple the rate of tree planting by the end of this Parliament.

Richard Stanford, Forestry Commission Chief Executive, said:

I am delighted that Sir William will continue his fantastic work as Chair of Forestry Commission for another term – his passion and experience have proved invaluable to the organisation and forestry sector as a whole.

I look forward to working closely together in protecting and expanding our forests, woods and trees and promoting sustainable management of them for people and nature.

The reappointment has been completed in accordance with the Ministerial Governance Code on Public Appointments. All appointments are made on merit and political activity plays no part in the selection process. There is a requirement for appointees’ political activity (if significant) to be declared. Sir William has declared that he has not taken part in any political activity in the past five years.

Sir William Worsley has been Chair of Forestry Commission since 2020. From June 2018 to his appointment as Chair, Sir William was the Government’s Tree Champion. He began his career as a chartered surveyor and for several years worked with the Country Land and Business Association (CLA) as former President and Chairman of the Board.

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