RSPB appoints new chief executive

The RSPB has appointed former Woodland Trust CEO, Beccy Speight as its new chief executive.

Speight, who has been the leader of Woodland Trust since 2014, will replace Dr Mike Clarke, who announced he was stepping down late last year.

During her stint at Woodland Trust, Speight led a period of significant re-focus and expansion, growing the income by over 35 per cent. She also oversaw the development and implementation of a 10-year strategy for the charity.

Prior to this, she worked for the National Trust for 14 years, most recently as director for the Midlands region.

As chief executive of the RSPB, Speight will drive the development and implementation of a strategy that aims to successfully deliver the RSPB’s charitable objectives and maximise its mission to save nature.

She will also be responsible for the operation and management of more than 200 RSPB nature reserves across England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland, which are visited by around 2.5 million people each year.

Commenting on her appointment, Speight said: “I am really excited about joining the RSPB. The fight to save nature has never been more important and the RSPB is uniquely positioned to make a difference. This is an interesting and challenging time for the charity and I'm looking forward to getting started in my role and helping to lead our great contribution."

RSPB chair, Kevin Cox, added: “We are delighted to welcome someone of Beccy’s calibre to the RSPB. We’re at a key point in history for nature conservation in the UK when the natural world is coming under increasing threat. At this crucial time of change, the RSPB must evolve to respond to these threats, ensuring that we’re in the best possible shape to make a difference for nature.

“The organisation has undergone a period of significant change over the past year and Beccy’s outstanding track record, personal qualities and commitment to the cause of nature conservation will ensure the charity continues to move forward with confidence.

“I’d like to thank our outgoing CEO, Mike Clarke, who has been instrumental in driving significant growth in membership, while modernising our mission to ensure we remain relevant in a changing world and fostering a new era of collaboration on behalf of nature conservation. We all wish him the best in his future endeavours.”

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