"Tree Champion" will hold councils to account over tree felling

The Government has appointed Sir William Worsley as Tree Champion for a one-year term to drive forward planting rates and prevent unnecessary street tree felling.

Image: © National Forest Company
Image: © National Forest Company

Worsley currently chairs the National Forest Company, which oversees the creation of the National Forest in the East Midlands (a role he will continue in), and also runs the family's Hovingham Estate in North Yorkshire.

He is a former President of the CLA (Country Land and Business Association) and former member of the North York Moors National Park Authority and the Forestry Commission’s Advisory Panel.

He will push forward the Government’s forest and woodland policy including its manifesto pledge to plant 11 million trees plus a further one million in towns and cities, and will support the development of a post-Brexit scheme to help landowners increase woodland cover.

He will also bring together mayors, city leaders and others across local government to prevent the unnecessary felling of street trees, alongside supporting the introduction of a new duty for councils to properly consult with communities before felling.

Defra secretary Michael Gove, who made the appointment, said: "I’m confident Sir William Worsley will bring the expertise and vision required to rapidly drive forward planting rates and prevent street trees being felled."

The Government committed to appointing a Tree Champion in its 25-Year Environment Plan, published at the start of the year.


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