9 January 2014
The Environment Secretary of State, Owen Paterson, announced today that Andrew Sells has been confirmed as the Chairman of Natural England.
Mr Sells will take up the post on 20 January 2014. David Hill, Natural England’s Deputy Chair, will stand in as Acting Chair until Andrew Sells takes up his post.
Andrew Sells lives on a small farm in north Wiltshire. He qualified as a chartered accountant prior to developing investment banking and venture capital interests. His non-executive career began with Linden Homes, a company which he chaired from start-up. He recently retired as Chairman of the Garden Centre Group (formerly Wyevale), leading the Group from near bankruptcy to becoming a strong business. He has held Trustee roles with the Royal Horticultural Society and the Policy Exchange (since 2007) and is currently chairing a Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) Task Force on a one-year pro bono contract looking at ways of improving the efficiency of the DWP’s Work Programme.
Andrew Sells’ appointment follows the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Select Committee meeting on 13 December, where the Committee concluded: “We are satisfied that Andrew Sells has the professional competence and personal independence required for the post of Chairman of Natural England and that he will be well placed to lead the organisation”.
In confirming the appointment, Environment Secretary Owen Paterson commented, “This is an incredibly important role which carries significant responsibilities. I am delighted to have confirmed Mr Andrew Sells as Chairman of Natural England and I look forward to him bringing his particular skills and insights to the Board.”