Helen Meech, Rewilding Britain's new director

Helen Meech, Rewilding Britain's new director

A group that wants to reintroduce lynx, bison, beavers and even wolves into Britain has appointed its first director.

Helen Meech will join the Rewilding Britain organisation from the National Trust.

She is currently assistant director for outdoors and nature engagement at the charity but will take up her new post at the end of September.

Rewilding Britain was inspired by writer and campaigner George Monbiot and has received backing from television presenter and wildlife expert Chris Packham.

The group said her post is being hosted for an initial period by Friends of the Earth who also supported the recruitment process, reflecting the two environmental charities’ shared vision to see a restoration in the abundance of nature, it added.

Rewilding Britain is also recruiting a Scotland-based director to ‘manage relationships with different stakeholders and opinion-formers to drive forward rewilding in Scotland’.

Chris Packham has also backed the group

Chris Packham has also backed the group

Ms Meech said: “My ambition for Rewilding Britain is to create a people-powered movement for the wild, which captures hearts as well as minds.

“This will require new alliances, new approaches to land management and new forms of funding for nature.

“I’m passionate about helping people find more time for the wild in their lives and I can’t wait to get stuck in.”

Ms Meech has worked in the natural environment policy and campaigns sector for the past 10 years, most recently leading the National Trust’s public engagement on nature, including the award-winning 50 Things to Do Before You’re 11¾ campaign.

She brought together film-makers, NGOs, businesses and charitable foundations for the 2013 documentary feature-film Project Wild Thing and has an MSc in conservation from University College London.

Rebecca Wrigley, programme manager for Rewilding Britain, said: “We are delighted to appoint Helen, coming as she does with such fantastic experience in both imaginative public engagement and robust stakeholder management.

“After two years of consultation, preparation and fund-raising, we are ready for take-off and judging by the huge response to our website and media coverage, it is not a minute too soon.”

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