Natural England - Dave Webster to continue as Natural England's interim Chief Executive

Dave Webster to continue as Natural England's interim Chief Executive

31 May 2012

Natural England Chair Poul Christensen, and the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, Caroline Spelman, confirmed today that Dave Webster will continue as Chief Executive of Natural England, the government’s nature conservation adviser, having decided that the process to recruit a permanent successor should be postponed until 2013.

Dave Webster joined Natural England as a founding Executive Board member in September 2006 and took on the role of Chief Executive on an interim basis in March 2012.

Although the selection panel went through a robust process to appoint a permanent Chief Executive which attracted a high level of interest and some strong candidates, we were not able to identify an available candidate who was sufficiently well matched  to the very high profile and demanding nature of the role.

In light of this, we have decided to defer permanent recruitment until after the forthcoming Triennial Review. The outcome of the review will provide a helpful steer to the selection panel on the direction for the organisation and therefore the requirements of a permanent Chief Executive.

Poul Christensen, Chair of Natural England, said: “I am grateful to Dave Webster for agreeing to continue to lead Natural England.  Dave has already initiated an extensive programme of change and is well placed to lead the organisation.  Dave commands the full confidence of the Board.”

Caroline Spelman, Environment Secretary, said: “I am pleased that Dave Webster has agreed to continue to lead Natural England as Chief Executive on an interim basis. Dave has already successfully led a series of changes so Natural England can continue doing its job effectively whilst delivering a good service to its customers.”


Notes to editors

For further information, please contact Julian Lloyd, 0300 060 0243 or 07500 992116;  Out of office hours, please contact the duty press officer on 07970 098005

About Natural England
Natural England is the government’s independent adviser on the natural environment. Established in 2006 our work is focused on enhancing England’s wildlife and landscapes and maximising the benefits they bring to the public.

  • We establish and care for England’s main wildlife and geological sites, ensuring that over 4,000 National Nature Reserves and Sites of Special Scientific Interest are looked after and improved.
  • We work to ensure that England’s landscapes are effectively protected, designating England’s National Parks and Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty, and advising widely on their conservation.
  • We run Environmental Stewardship and other green farming schemes that deliver over £400 million a year to farmers and landowners, enabling them to enhance the natural environment across two thirds of England’s farmland.
  • We fund, manage, and provide scientific expertise for hundreds of conservation projects each year, improving the prospects for thousands of England’s species and habitats.
  • We promote access to the wider countryside, helping establish National Trails and coastal trails and ensuring that the public can enjoy and benefit from them.  

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