Forestry Commission appoints planning and infrastructure chief as its new director

Forestry Commission England has named a high-flying planning chief as its new director, who will take charge on 11 March.

Ian Gambles, former director of national infrastructure at the Planning Inspectorate, said he would champion a stronger woodland culture and ensure his team would ramp up its emphasis on the green economy.

He has experience from both public and private sectors, including HM Treasury, and has worked as a management consultant. He graduated in history from Balliol College, Oxford, in 1983 and has published a book on preparing business cases.

Gambles said: This is such a pivotal time in the Forestry Commission’s history. I look forward to helping it seize every opportunity to grow a stronger woodland culture, play a vital role in the growth of the green economy and enable people to enjoy their forests to the full."

Forestry Commission director general, Tim Rollinson, retires at the end of January and has performed many of the duties of the director for England. The director general post is not being replaced.

Forestry Commission chair Sir Harry Studholme said: "Ian’s wealth of experience in the public and private sectors, along with his excellent knowledge of Government, his energy and his enthusiasm will be a huge asset to the Forestry Commission over the coming years.

"His 12 years in consultancy were focused principally on developing and implementing strategy within the public sector. He is a fellow of the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants."

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