Tony Juniper reappointed as Natural England Chair for second term

Press release from DEFRA on 21 December 2021:

Tony Juniper CBE reappointed as Natural England Chair

Environment Secretary George Eustice today confirms Tony Juniper CBE has been reappointed as Chair of Natural England.

The Environment Secretary, George Eustice, has today (21 December) confirmed that Tony Juniper CBE has been reappointed as Chair of Natural England for a second term. Tony Juniper’s second term will be for three years and will run from 23 April 2022 to 22 April 2025.

Chair of Natural England, Tony Juniper, said:

I am honoured to be reappointed as Chair of Natural England. Our vital role in defending and enhancing our nation’s natural environment has never been more important.

Since I came to lead Natural England in 2019 we have made significant progress in restoring energy and direction to the organisation, created a clearer strategic plan and mission and secured a major increase in resources to implement it. We have made strides toward realising England’s ambition to create a Nature Recovery Network, supported the landmark Environment Act, declared new National Nature Reserves, helped the public connect with nature, advised government on nature-based solutions to climate change and how best to join up new farming policy with nature recovery, among many other things.

Looking to the future and there is a lot to do, and in this second term my focus will be even more firmly on the delivery of the Government’s ambitious goals for Nature recovery, including implementing biodiversity net gain, delivering programmes for key habitats, such as peatlands, gearing up species recovery programmes, initiating more landscape-scale nature projects, supporting government to deliver nature-based solutions to combat climate change and implementing new land management schemes, and harnessing all of that to establish the Nature Recovery Network which is so vital for overall success.

I want to thank all of our brilliant staff, partners and stakeholders for their support and dedication, and I look forward to continuing to work together to deliver the biggest possible positive impact for Nature that we can“.

Environment Secretary, George Eustice, said:

Tony has provided strong leadership to Natural England, bringing passion and a wealth of experience to the organisation, and I am pleased he will continue as Chair for a second term.

Natural England continues to play a key role in delivering the 25 Year Environment Plan, and I look forward to working closely together as we implement the Environment Act, build back greener from the pandemic and restore nature across the country“.

The reappointment has been made in accordance with the Ministerial Governance Code on Public Appointments and all appointments are made on merit and political activity plays no part in the selection process.

There is a requirement for appointees’ political activity (if significant) to be made public. Tony has declared that he has not taken part in any significant political activity in the past five years.


In addition to this press release, Tony Juniper has published a blog where he reflects on his first term in post (see here).

Of particular interest to this blog is this bit about ongoing raptor persecution, particularly of hen harriers:

Linked with this [progress] has been the challenge of establishing the right mix of actions to assist the recovery of species such as Hen Harriers. These birds have suffered from persecution, to the point where their recovery, and indeed survival as a breeding species in England, has been in doubt. In the midst of highly polarized views, we have nonetheless for the last three years seen increasing breeding success in the English uplands, which I hope is a trend that will continue, despite setbacks seen in the continuing illegal killing of these birds‘.

Christ. How many times does this need saying? Increased breeding success is utterly, utterly pointless if those young hen harriers are subsequently killed by Natural England’s so-called ‘partners’ when the harriers venture anywhere near a grouse moor, which is exactly what’s still happening. At least 57 of them in the last three years (see here) and that figure has since increased…..that’s another blog to write.

Incidentally, talking of hen harriers and Natural England’s failure to protect them, there’s an excellent guest blog that’s well worth reading on Mark Avery’s blog today (see here).

26 thoughts on “Tony Juniper reappointed as Natural England Chair for second term”

  1. ‘Highly polarised views’ about hen harriers ? That would be the law versus the criminals. That false equivalence tells you all you need to know about the official view.

  2. Of course he has been, he is doing what they want with out toothless and heartless so called Nature protectionists

  3. Disaster! I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. NE is not fit for purpose. TJ has let himself and every conservationist concerned with wildlife persecution down, since he’s been in post.

  4. “including implementing biodiversity net gain.”

    Aside from the obvious fiasco with brood meddling, Tony Juniper has completely bought in to corporate greenwashing projects like ‘biodiversity net gain’ and ‘natural capital’, so he’s a safe pair of hands for the status quo to continue. All of his touted ‘successes’ are tinkering around the edges; there is nothing even approaching a radical rethink of land use in England, nor a reappraisal of the industries who continue to degrade our national parks for commercial gain. If he was actually doing his job properly, and being a proper independent representative for wildlife, he wouldn’t be getting pats on the back by the people responsible for leaving our countryside in the abysmal, nature depleted state it’s currently in.

    1. A tick box exercise. Juniper is such a disappointment but there again as Chomsky said to Marr, he wouldn’t have got the job if he was different. I was hoping against hope.

  5. Ruth, you really should be more careful in how you express your emotions. Your blogs very often lack emotional intelligence resulting in any benefit being nullified and, instead of increasing awareness of the important issues you seek to get across, simply turns people away from your web site. Furthermore, it also reflects badly on those you consider as your associates in the information war regarding raptor persecution and other abhorrent wildlife crimes. I am referring here in this instance to your use of the expletive “Christ” – something that all Christians (as well as many non-Christians) consider to be unacceptable and insulting. You are shooting yourself, and the cause, in the foot by alienating sections of the population, a large percentage of whom hold views regarding wildlife crime similar to your own. I doubt very much if you would use a similar expletive about Islam! You really should learn to be more professional in your writing: you will find that well-articulated argument rather than the use of emotive expletives convinces many more.

    1. Despite the chosen expletive (and resulting faux outrage), the truth remains. Those who would use the choice of language as an excuse to ignore/dispute the issue are nothing short of idiots.

      1. Nevertheless, he does have a point and I speak as a atheist – Ruth wouldn’t have used an expletive involving Islam. A small but important point but hardly “on topic” here. We have to be mindful of the delicate sensibilities of some sections of the public (but you can insult me as much as you like – water off a ducks back!).

        1. Even the BBC, one of the most pro christian outlets out there does not think that taking the lord your god’s name in vain is a problem. Can’t remember what i stumbled upon the other day but it involved a man in some kind of exciting ride and his every exclamation was taking the lord’s name in vain. It was the mildest term allowable. The reason it is accepted whilst a similar phrase is not accepted with Islam is that Islam is a minority.
          I am an atheist and think that trying to enforce the belief that ‘thou shalt not take the Lord your God’s name in vain’ is equally insulting and antiquated.

      2. How many of us are familiar with any ‘similar expletive about Islam’? I have travelled widely, more than most, and I’ve never heard any spoken. I doubt such a thing would be recognised, here or more generally.

        I’ll go with Ruth’s Right to Comment. Others may have a right to be offended, perhaps, but surely such would not be comparable to their reaction to NE’s activities. They have read to the penultimate para. I would also remind them of the news of the selective recruitment to NE’s board, with the exclusion of wildlife professionals. I hope reactions to this are delayed by the holiday break and by individuals working from home.

    2. I don’t use the expletive myself but religion might be taken more seriously if its devotees learned to express themselves without that kind po faced lecture, which assumes for religion a status which it no longer enjoys and which avoids the effort of a robust justification of its view. Opposition to wildlife crime also is not conditional on choice of expletives.

    3. This is a distraction from the very valid point that Ruth is making about the nonsense of the Hen Harrier brood management program, if so many of the chicks released under this program, never go onto reach adulthood, breed and increase the overall population of Hen Harriers.
      At what point did it become acceptable to manipulate the law protecting birds of prey, their nests and their chicks, so that chicks could be removed from grouse moors where their presence is so unwelcome?
      Chicks which when they fledge, frequently end up flying back to their natural habitat of the grouse moors where they either disappear are are subject to criminal persecution.
      But the Hen Harrier brood management program is also a distraction from the criminal activity which so many birds of prey are subject to.
      I can fully understand Ruth’s frustration, and I can think of far more colourful words to describe this ridiculous state of affairs, and the anger I feel that the public are being hoodwinked into believing the Hen Harrier brood management program is such a great conservation success.
      57 missing Harriers is hardly something to celebrate.
      Perhaps those who profess such horror at the use of the word “Christ” should reflect on the real horror that so many birds of prey face on a daily basis as they try and survive in their natural habitat, supposedly protected by legislation, which rarely brings the wildlife criminals to justice.
      Is God going to be more concerned about our use of words or the wicked destruction of his creation?
      Religious hypocrisy???

    4. Unnacceptable and insulting? Meanwhile, I’ve put a few (about 5) hours in this morning walking/sitting to see what is about on a grouse moor local to me. Today wildlife-wise lots of grouse in singles, pairs and packs c150+ in total (and interestingly a lot more wormy caecal droppings than I usually see on and around the grit trays), a two small flocks of c20 peewits, a few rabbits, pigeons and black headed gulls, one stoat and one kestrel. Zero else, not even a buzzard on the fringes, but a few pheasants and a couple of jays were seen. Two keepers purring about on quads, a new snare line I’ve never noticed before with a few piles of corpses nearby, a couple of miles of muddy tracks been resurfaced with yellow hardcore, a dozen or so stoat traps some legal some prob not, and some out of use crow traps. And everywhere peat stained water flying off the sloping hillsides of short and burnt heather into the swollen watercourses. That on a so-called SSSI in an AONB is what I call unacceptable and insulting – when it is supposed to be under the guardianship of Tony Juniper and his NE. I couldn’t give a shit whose religous fairy tales are being offended, I just want our public body to f-g wake up and do its job and bring some reasonable balance back to moors.

      1. Excellent comment.
        Is this Tony Juniper and Natural England’s vision of working together with partners and stakeholders to “deliver the biggest possible positive impact for Nature”???
        If so, I would suggest Mr Juniper is in the wrong job!!

    5. What condescending, arrogant nonsense. It’s ironic that you’re clutching your pearls about the ‘tone’ of the writing, whilst using insults yourself such as ‘lack of emotional intelligence’. Here’s a suggestion, instead of sitting on your high horse, try and understand that many, many more people are interested in the actual content of the article (which, surprisingly, you’ve decided to completely ignore), rather than a few prickly words. The fact that you think this is more important than the topic at hand – raptor persecution – says more about you than it does about anything in this blog.

    6. This blog has over a million views, so when you say “instead of increasing awareness of the important issues you seek to get across, simply turns people away from your web site”, just understand that you are speaking from a place of petulance and bitterness at the usage of a word rather than the reality of the situation, Ian.

  6. I’m dismayed to read so many comments about Ruth’s language. Rather than a (very mild) expletive it could be taken as a prayer to protect wildlife against the farce that is “Natural England”.

  7. As an atheist I am much more concerned about the substance of the point you make. I think that Tony Juniper is a political appointment so for him to say he has not been involved in politics for five years is either naïve or a down right lie. Every day he serves in NE is a political day. What planet is he living on. There are numerous reports that show the ineffectiveness of his brood meddling project. There is a word for someone who continues to do the same thing but expects a different outcome.

    Please ignore the self righteous critics who have nothing to say about the substance of your blog. I continue to thank you for your commitment to saving our raptors.

  8. Christ! According to Tony Juniper was paid £546 per working day, from March 2019, to be Chair of Natural England.

    “Tony will bring great experience and passion to Natural England from a career dedicated to conservation from his role at WWF to advising the Prince of Wales”.

    That would be the same WWF who claim that lifelong shooter Prince Phillip was a ‘tireless conservationist’ to the same Prince of Wales who still is a lifelong shooter.

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