Sir WIlliam Worsley appointed new Forestry Commission chairman

Environment Secretary Theresa Villiers has today confirmed Sir William Worsley, whose family are from the Ryedale, as the new Chairman of the Forestry Commission.

Monday, 3rd February 2020, 3:32 pm
Updated Monday, 3rd February 2020, 3:33 pm
Sir William Worsley

The announcement comes as Sir Harry Studholme’s time as Forestry Commission Chairman ends after seven years in post.

Sir William, who is from the Worsley family of Hovingham, near Malton, will step down as the government’s Tree Champion, a position he has held since June 2018, when he takes on his new role.

Environment Secretary Theresa Villiers said: “With his great expertise in forestry and passion for nature and trees, Sir William will play a pivotal role in leading the Forestry Commission at a critical time as it moves into its second century.

“Tree planting will play a crucial part in the government’s bold action to combat climate change, and the Forestry Commission has a vital role in delivering our ambitious plans for England’s forests and woodlands.

“I also want to thank Sir Harry for his dedication in leading the organisation for the past seven years and wish him all the best in future endeavours.”

Commenting on his appointment, Sir William said: “Trees, woods and forests are so important to us – improving our landscapes, helping capture carbon, improving our general wellbeing and providing a renewable resource in the timber they produce.

“It couldn’t be a more exciting time to join the Forestry Commission.

"My aim will be to celebrate, protect and deepen the impact of its excellent work, not only for the sake of our environment but also for the huge benefits that our success brings for society.”

Ian Gambles, Chief Executive Officer of Forestry Commission, said Sir William’s appointment was great news for the Forestry Commission and the wider forestry sector.

Sir William will take up the role on 10 February and will be in post for three years.

He served as a Lieutenant in the Queen's Own Yeomanry from 1975 to 1980 and subsequently became [6] Honorary Colonel of the Yorkshire Squadron of the Queen's Own Yeomanry from 2008 to 2015.

He served as a Secretary of State appointed member on the North York Moors National Park Authority from 1994 to 1998