First Director for England appointed

Friday 10th January 2014

Stephen Trotter

Stephen Trotter is the first Director for England at The Wildlife Trusts.

This is a new role created to reflect that almost all environmental legislation is now devolved to the four component parts of the UK.

Stephen’s focus will be on influencing English policy and decisions which affect the natural world, society and health.  He joins The Wildlife Trusts from Warwickshire Wildlife Trust, where he has been Chief Executive for four years.  Stephen started his career at the National Trust before moving to help to set up the New Forest National Park Authority. 

I am passionate about communicating the value of nature to others and want to share the joy, fascination and wonder of our natural world and heritage 

Stephanie Hilborne OBE, Chief Executive of The Wildlife Trusts, said:

“The Wildlife Trusts are pleased to announce the appointment of Stephen Trotter as our first Director for England. Stephen has vision, commitment and a leadership style that suits our organisation. He is well placed to make a big impact in what is a very exciting and challenging new role.

Stephen Trotter is a Full member of the Chartered Institute of Ecology and Environmental Management (MCIEEM) and Chartered Environmentalist (CEnv). Speaking about his love for the natural world and what he aims to bring to the role, Stephen, said:

“I am passionate about communicating the value of nature to others and want to share the joy, fascination and wonder of our natural world and heritage.

“My work has always revolved around trying to promote a deeper understanding of the natural world, trying to improve people’s access to wild places and arguing for better stewardship of the environment by society."

Stephen Trotter began his new role on Monday 6 January 2014.   The new role reflects an ongoing need for clear definition in England in order to have a say in policy and decisions that impact upon nature and society.  Back in 1999, the process of devolution was designed to decentralise government and give more powers to Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland which, together with England, make up the UK.  The Wildlife Trusts now have a dedicated leader in each country as well as leadership for the UK as a whole.

Stephanie Hilborne added:

“Addressing devolution requires evolution not revolution. There are successful individual Wildlife Trusts in Scotland and Ulster, and an effective body Wildlife Trusts Wales which brings together the six Welsh Trusts.

“Unlike the situation in Westminster, the 37 English Wildlife Trusts already have self determination as regards policy and their own Chair, Dr Anne Powell. With Steve’s appointment we are taking this a step further by ensuring that Wildlife Trusts in England have dedicated executive leadership as well.”

Stephen will report to The Wildlife Trusts’ Chief Executive Stephanie Hilborne OBE who will focus on UK matters.  As Director for England, he will oversee the majority of policy staff and work closely with marine scientist Joan Edwards (Head of Living Seas) who led the non-government organisation (NGO) movement to secure the 2009 Marine Act and Paul Wilkinson (Head of Living Landscape), who led the NGO movement over the Natural Environment White Paper in 2011.

Notes for editors:

Stephen Trotter, Director for England

Stephen’s career has been dedicated to leading change in the voluntary and environmental sector.  After 20 years with the National Trust Steve helped to set up a National Park and then moved to the Warwickshire Wildlife Trust, as Chief Executive.  Whilst there, Stephen led all aspects of the charity’s affairs and business including membership development and unrestricted income growth, public affairs and organisational management; he worked with trustees, staff, volunteers, external agencies and organisations to stand up for local wildlife and secure the support and involvement of local people in its stewardship.  Warwickshire Wildlife Trust employs more than 60 staff, benefits from the work of 730 volunteers, has 22,500 members and 60 nature reserves.   Stephen successfully led the organisation through a rapid period of change and development and established a local nature partnership, set up a new subsidiary company, developed public campaigns and established several major new partnership projects.   Steve is now set to apply the same analytical and diplomatic skills to The Wildlife Trusts movement.

Joan Edwards, Head of Living Seas

Originally a graduate of Bangor University, Joan has worked in marine conservation for more than 20 years.  She started her career as a warden in the Voluntary Conservation Area at Wembury, Devon.  

Joan is Head of Living Seas at The Wildlife Trusts and Chair of the Wildlife and Countryside Link Marine Task Force, a coalition of the main NGOs working on marine issues.

Paul Wilkinson, Head of Living Landscape

Paul has worked in local, regional and national conservation policy coordination and advocacy for the last 15 years, within the charitable and local government sectors, including around nine years with The Wildlife Trusts.  

He has been a member of the East of England Regional Assembly, representing environmental stakeholders, and as chair of regional biodiversity forum led the development of the region’s first biodiversity strategy.  Since 2009, as Head of Living Landscape, Paul has led and supported the achievement of A Living Landscape through high level advocacy including the Common Agricultural Policy and the Natural Environment White Paper.

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