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.
[Photo by Jason Bye]
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).