Appointment to this role comes at one of the most significant and exciting times in the history of both the Friends of Westonbirt Arboretum (FoWA) and the Arboretum. With a new and aspirational 10-year vision developed in partnership with Forestry England to transform Westonbirt Arboretum and secure its place as “a world leader in trees.” Inspiring many more people through ‘Conservation, Education, and Participation.”
Established in 1985 by a small group of enthusiasts with a desire to work closely with Forestry England to help preserve, enhance, and develop this unique landscape by raising funds from their membership scheme. Today they have grown to become an organisation with an income in excess of £1.7m per annum that employs 23 members of staff and serves more than 38,000 members.
They are immensely proud of their work, its impact, their partners, and the generous support they receive from their Ambassador, The Hon. Beth Rothschild, and their Royal Patron. They benefit from having firm foundations in place to build upon their achievements, with the role of Chair representing an amazing and unique opportunity to join a dedicated, passionate, and high-performing team, all of whom are incredibly proud of being part of and celebrating Westonbirt Arboretum.
FoWA relies on the support and guidance of a dedicated and skilled Chair and Board of Trustees, who are actively involved in the organisation’s strategic direction, governance, and decision-making. All of whom will be fundamental in driving the new vision from concept to completion.
With you as their new Chair expected to share their passion for the enhancement, conservation, and care of Westonbirt. Working collaboratively with Foresty England and their CEO to help shape the long-term sustainable future of both Westonbirt Arboretum and the charity, horizon scan, broker new introductions, and effectively mobilise new opportunities. Act as an ambassador and a public face, support the CEO, and ensure that the board functions as a unit and works closely with the entire team at FoWA to achieve their strategic objectives.
The role is about exercising soft power, persuasion, and diplomacy, with an occasional burst of more executive-style decision-making when needed. It is also never straightforward, nor one solely about strategy.
The above list is indicative only and not exhaustive, and you will be expected to perform additional duties reasonably commensurate with the role.
Expectations are high. As our new chair, you will need to evidence and demonstrate commitment and be fully engaged and motivated by our vision for Westonbirt Arboretum and bring the necessary experience, expertise, and energy to ensure we are able to achieve all that we hope to achieve.
FoWA are a charity with over 38,000 members and supporters who help support Westonbirt Arboretum; a historic, Victorian picturesque landscape and internationally important tree and shrub collection, covering 600 acres of woodland with 15,000 labelled specimens from Britain, China, North America, Japan, Chile and other temperate climates.
They share an ambition with Forestry England for Westonbirt to become a world leader in trees, inspiring people through education, participation and conservation, and efforts to connect people with trees to improve the quality of life. Working tirelessly to to further public enjoyment and knowledge of this world renowned tree collection and to secure its sustainable future by engaging, informing and increasing membership and by giving financial and practical support to the management and development of Westonbirt, The National Arboretum.
They recognise that the Arboretum is not only an important environmental and educational resource for those who live locally but performs work that has national and international benefits. Training expert arborists who will help care for woodlands and forests across the UK, and actively participating in climate change research that benefits worldwide environmental understanding.
There is also so much to do and see. The Old Arboretum is a carefully designed landscape dating from the 1850s offering beautiful vistas, stately avenues, and trees from around the world. Silk Wood is an ancient, semi-natural woodland which has exotic planting throughout its landscape; and the Downs, is a Grade 1 registered landscape and hosts species-rich grassland.
A highly influential partner, and members of a Joint Working Panel, which ensures collaborative working to support Forestry England on site, FoWA is proud to be a critical friend and partner providing a consistent presence to keep sight of long-term objectives and capital development projects. They also hold the accolade of being the most successful Friends Group and charity supporting a Forestry England wood.
If you would welcome the opportunity to apply, please forward:
Your application should be sent to Philip Nelson, FoWA’s advising consultant at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Please also let us know if you require any special provisions should you be called forward for an interview.
For an informal and confidential discussion, to ask a question on any aspect of the appointment process, or for additional information, please contact Philip Nelson on 07771 953959 or via email at email@example.com.