Gove appoints five to the Natural England board

Secretary of State for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, Michael Gove, has appointed Catherine Dugmore as chair of the Audit, risk, assurance committee and Lord Blencathra, Professor Sue Hartley, Henry Robinson and Marian Spain to the board of Natural England.

The three- year appointments took effect from 12 March 2018.

Board members provide non-executive leadership challenge and support to the executive. And they each take on lead roles on specific issues and with local operational teams.

Under his declaration of interests Lord Blencathra declared that he speaks publically, generally in support of Conservative policies, in the House of Lords and that he usually votes with the government. The other four board declared no significant political activity during the past five years.

Dugmore (pictured) worked at PwC latterly as an audit partner based in Johannesburg. Catherine is currently a Trustee of the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew and WWF-UK.

Lord Blencathra is a member of the House of Lords where he chairs a select committee and has been appointed to the Council of Europe.

Hartley is professor of ecology at the University of York and Director of the York Environmental Sustainability Institute, a pioneering interdisciplinary research partnership generating solutions to global environmental challenges.

Robinson is a farmer and has had various roles at the Country Land & Business Association (CLA).

Spain is chief executive of Plantlife International, the UK’s leading wildplant conservation charity, a role she took up in 2014. She is also a Secretary of State appointed Member of the New Forest National Park Authority. She was formerly Ofwat’s Senior Director of Policy and Communications (2010-13).