FORESTRY Commission chair Sir William Worsley has confirmed Richard Stanford as the new chief executive of the Forestry Commission.

Richard will start the role in August, replacing current Chief Executive Ian Gambles who will leave his post this month.

Commenting on his appointment, Richard Stanford said: "I am delighted to be appointed to the role of chief executive of the Forestry Commission, which combines my love of the countryside with the challenge of helping to deliver a strategy which will bring a tangible benefit for the nation and the environment.

"I look forward to learning from the nation’s experts across the Forestry Commission about sustainable forestry, and how together we can realise an ambitious vision for trees and woodlands in and around our towns, cities and rural areas.

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"Being a part of an organisation at the forefront of the Government’s agenda for carbon and climate change, to improve the environment and to build the green economy is a real motivating factor. There is no doubt there are exciting times ahead for the Forestry Commission, which I much look forward to."

Sir William Worsley, chair of the Forestry Commission, said: "Richard’s appointment is excellent news for the Forestry Commission and the wider forestry sector.

"I am confident he will bring the experience and ambition required to lead our organisation as we embark on one of the most important periods in our long history.

"Richard is passionate about the countryside and improving the environment and joins the Forestry Commission after a long and distinguished military career. He has held a series of leadership roles within the military, including Senior British Loans Services Officer in Oman, advising the Sultan on strategic defence and security, and General Officer Commanding Regional Command."

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