Vanessa Griffiths – Deputy Director of Sustainable Business at the Environment Agency (EA). She leads the team responsible for delivering the Agency’s ambition to become a net zero organisation by 2030 and championing a just tradition, resource optimisation and environmental net gain. She was previously chief executive of the Ramblers, a volunteer-led organisation which enables people to become healthier and happier through walking in nature. Van has also served as an Assistant Director at the National Trust, Europe’s largest conservation charity, and as a Director at the charitable organisation Groundwork. She has been a senior civil servant and held leadership positions at the BBC, Mars UK, and Business in the Community. Van is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts, a business leader of the Marketing Society, vice chair of the National Council for Voluntary Organisations and a Trustee of Mostyn art gallery.
On the Panel:
Minette Batters – President of the National Farmers Union (NFU). Minette runs a tenanted family farm in Wiltshire, and co-founded the campaigning initiative ‘Ladies in Beef’ and the ‘Great British Beef Week’. She has been an NFU member from the grassroots through to County Chairman; she served as Wiltshire’s Council delegate and also a Regional Board Chairman for the South West. Minette has also been a member of NFU Governancy Board and served as NFU deputy president for four years from 2014 to 2018, before being elected as president in February 2018. Minette is also a Trustee of Farm Africa.
Mark Bridgeman – President of the Country Land & Business Association (CLA). For the last 13 years, Mark has managed Fallodon Estate in Northumberland. After Durham Univeristy, Mark spent 19 years as Schroders as a fund manager. He is now on the board of two London listed investment trusts and is a trustee of the Weston Park Foundation. Mark has been actively involved in the CLA for 11 years. He joined the CLA Policy Committee nine years ago as the North East’s representative before chairing the Legal and Parliamentary and Property Rights Committee, during which time he also chaired the Housing Working Group that produced the CLA’s Housing policy document. From 2013-15 he chaired the Environment Committee before becoming Vice President in 2015.
Beccy Speight – CEO of the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB). Beccy became the RSPB’s Chief Executive in August 2019, having previously held the same position at the Woodland Trust. Prior to the Woodland Trust Beccy worked for the National Trust for 14 years, initially as general manager of the Stourhead Estate, then as director for its East Midlands and Midlands regions from 2005.
Crispin Truman – CEO of Campaign to Protect Rural England (CPRE The Countryside Charity). Crispin was previously chief executive of The Churches Conservation Trust, the UK charity protecting historic churches at risk. He is a founder member of Future Religious Heritage and an International Advisory Member at the Foundation from Jewish Heritage. He was a Chair of Governors at Stoke Newington School in London and a former Trustee of several UK charities including The Heritage Alliance and Rethink mental health. Crispin trained as a social worker and was formerly chief executive of the Revolving Doors Agency. He was awarded the OBE for services to heritage and charitable foundations in January 2017.