The RSPB has today announced that its new Chief Executive will be Beccy Speight, currently Chief Executive at the Woodland Trust.
She succeeds Dr Mike Clarke who announced he was stepping down late last year.
Beccy joins us from the Woodland Trust, where she has been Chief Executive since 2014. At the Woodland Trust, Beccy successfully led a period of significant re-focus and expansion, growing income by over 35 per cent. Beccy oversaw the development and implementation of a ten-year strategy which has raised the profile of the Woodland Trust, built many new partnerships and developed a great leadership team, supported by more effective structures and a new culture. Prior to this Beccy worked for the National Trust for 14 years, most recently as Director for the Midlands region.
As the RSPB’s Chief Executive, Beccy will provide the clear vision to drive the development and implementation of a strategy that will successfully deliver the RSPB’s charitable objectives and maximise its mission to save nature. Beccy will also be responsible for the operation and management of more than 200 RSPB nature reserves across England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland, which are visited by around 2.5 million people each year.
Commenting on her appointment, Beccy said: “I am really excited about joining the RSPB. The fight to save nature has never been more important and the RSPB is uniquely positioned to make a difference. This is an interesting and challenging time for the charity and I'm looking forward to getting started in my role and helping to lead our great contribution."
RSPB Chairman, Kevin Cox, added: “We are delighted to welcome someone of Beccy’s calibre to the RSPB. We’re at a key point in history for nature conservation in the UK when the natural world is coming under increasing threat. At this crucial time of change, the RSPB must evolve to respond to these threats, ensuring that we’re in the best possible shape to make a difference for nature.
“The organisation has undergone a period of significant change over the past year and Beccy’s outstanding track record, personal qualities and commitment to the cause of nature conservation will ensure the charity continues to move forward with confidence.
“I’d like to thank our outgoing CEO, Mike Clarke, who has been instrumental in driving significant growth in membership, while modernising our mission to ensure we remain relevant in a changing world and fostering a new era of collaboration on behalf of nature conservation. We all wish him the best in his future endeavours.”
The RSPB is the largest conservation organisation in Europe, with more than 1.2 million members, over 2,000 employees and around 12,000 volunteers. It has over 200 nature reserves across the UK, wild havens where everyone can get closer to nature and home to 80 per cent of our rarest or more threatened bird species. The RSPB also works internationally and is a leading player in BirdLife International, a partnership of conservation organisations working to save nature across the world.