Andrew Bachell, new chief executive of the John Muir Trust

Andrew Bachell, new chief executive of the John Muir Trust

A leading conservation charity has appointed a new chief executive.

Andrew Bachell will take over the post at the John Muir Trust in June.

Mr Bachell has for the past 15 years been director of operations and latterly director of policy and advice at Scottish Natural Heritage, the Scottish Government’s advisory body on the outdoors.

He will take over the post from Stuart Brooks, who after eight years at the helm of the trust has moved on to a senior role with the National Trust for Scotland.

Mr Bachell has 35 years of experience working on environmental and conservation matters, having previously worked for National Trust for Scotland as its director of countryside, and at the Woodland Trust as its director in Scotland.

Originally from Hampshire and a graduate of Edinburgh University, he is also currently a member of the chief scientists group made up from the United Kingdom’s four nature agencies and has a strong grasp of land management, conservation and environmental issues in all the locations that the trust currently operates.

While at SNH he was responsible for landscape and wild-land issues, and also advised the Scottish Government on access, ecosystems and biodiversity, rural resources, planning and renewables.

The new chief executive said: “I’m looking forward to building on the excellent work that’s been done at the trust.

“Across the years I have witnessed an organisation that is bold and relevant. It’s exciting to now join and lead its work to advance the cases for why wild places matter for people and nature. The link between nature and our own wellbeing has never been more important or more under pressure.”

Peter Pearson, chair of the John Muir Trust, said: “Andrew’s wealth of senior management experience coupled with his in-depth knowledge and understanding of the conservation of landscapes and nature makes him the ideal person to lead the trust.

“We are delighted to have appointed him and look forward to benefiting from his know-how and leadership.”

Mr Pearson thanked Stuart Brooks for his eight years as trust chief executive. “Stuart’s expertise, professionalism and strategic approach have helped the John Muir Trust make huge strides forward over these past eight years. We wish him all the best for the future.”

The John Muir Trust, named after the Scottish-born environmentalist seen as the father of the national park movement, has been at the forefront of opposition to many of the windfarms planned for wild-land areas.

It also owns large tracts of Scottish upland and wild land, including much of Britain’s highest mountain Ben Nevis.

Andrew Bachell will take up his role on 15 June 2017 after a trip to Northern Norway. Fiona Kindness, director of resources at the John Muir Trust, will act as chief executive in the interim.

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