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Dear Candidate We have an exciting opportunity for you to join The Tree Council at an important stage of our development. We are an organisation with an impressive track record , and we are making big plans for the future.

Uniquely, it can rally diverse organisations and harness their energy to inform and support an agreed common position on tree matters of shared interest, communicate new developments and plan campaigns.

The Tree Council’s objects are ‘to promote for the public benefit the conservation, protection and improvement of the physical and natural environment through the planting, care, nurture and cultivation of trees in town and country’. It was founded more than 40 years ago as the national tree planting campaign that would follow up on the success of the Plant A Tree In ‘73 campaign, encourage action for trees and run National Tree Week

Our outgoing Director General, Pauline Buchanan Black, has led The Tree Council with great distinction for the last 16 years, and she is leaving the organisation in very good shape for her successor; we all owe her a huge debt of gratitude and wish her well for the future.

Since then, our work programme has expanded significantly. We have since founded an annual Community Action Programme that reflects the tree year and includes Seed Gathering Season, National Tree Week and Walk in the Woods month. We also coordinate and manage our national volunteer Tree Warden Scheme, with over 8,000 volunteers. We fundraise and distribute grants for planting trees. We work with our members on an agenda for change. The distinctiveness of The Tree Council’s role lies in its power to bring a wide range of organisations together and find the common ground from which to present a united front.

We are at an exciting time in our development, with our 50th anniversary due in 2023. This offers a great opportunity for a talented leader to collaborate with our members and supporters to increase our influence and impact even further. As our Chief Executive you will provide inspirational leadership and strategic direction within both the organisation and the sector. You will care passionately about the natural environment, have a love of trees, and have the ability to communicate a clear vision of the future to all audiences. I do hope you will be interested in applying for this challenging, but very rewarding, role. Yours sincerely Douglas French Chair


WHO WE ARE The Tree Council is the UK’s lead charity for trees, promoting their importance in a changing environment. Our vision is one of more trees in streets, parks, hedgerows and woodland across the UK, bringing benefits to people and wildlife, enhancing landscapes and engaging people in biodiversity and environmental issues. Our mission is to “make trees matter to everyone”. We want more trees of the right kind in the right places, better care for trees of all ages and effective action for trees. We do this by working in partnership with our member organisations, volunteer Tree Wardens, schools, communities, organisations and government.

HISTORY The Tree Council was founded in 1974, with government backing, as the umbrella body for UK organisations involved in tree planting, care and conservation. The objective was to keep up the momentum of National Tree Planting Year 1973 (with its slogan of “Plant a Tree in ‘73”).

VALUES Collaboration Creativity Professionalism Integrity Independence Honesty Respect Openness Fairness Listening Learning


One of The Tree Council’s first actions (in 1975) was to organise National Tree Week and since then members of the royal family, including The Queen and Queen Mother, Prime Ministers and many more public figures have planted trees on behalf of The Tree Council. National Tree Week has become the UK’s largest annual celebration of trees and woods. More recently we have introduced other annual initiatives such as the Tree Care Campaign, Walk in the Woods month and Seed Gathering Season and further developed our work with our member organisations.

Chief Executive | The Tree Council | October 2017

OUR WORK The work of The Tree Council includes: Annual Community Action Programme

Planting Grants

This comprises four national campaigns which mirror the tree year: Seed Gathering Season, National Tree Week, the Tree Care Campaign and Walk in the Woods month. Events are held across the UK every year by local groups and are aimed at involving as many people as possible in planting, caring for and enjoying trees and woods.

The annual public grants programme through which funds are made available for school and communities to improve their environment and learn about the importance of trees ensures that children under the age of 16 are given the opportunity to get some hands on experience of tree planting, creating a new generation of tree enthusiasts.

Tree Warden Scheme

We also raise funds to distribute through our membership organisations and Tree Wardens for woodland wildflower and bluebell planting, tree planting and hedge and hedge tree planting.

Established in 1990 and fundamental to our community action programme is The Tree Council’s Tree Warden Scheme. Our 8,000 Tree Wardens form a national force of volunteers in local networks dedicated to their communities’ trees. They organise activities, fundraise, research and advise on trees and related topics. Regular training and discussion forums attended by senior members of The Tree Council are held throughout the year. Campaigns Often generated through consultation and feedback from member organisations, our campaigns in recent years have included the Green Monuments Campaign (a drive for proper safeguards for heritage trees) and the Coalition government’s tree planting campaign, The Big Tree Plant (which we chaired). Research and Advisory Projects We advise and produce research for DEFRA and FERA on the threat to trees posed by tree diseases (in particular Ash die-back) and have developed a combined best practice toolkit for public and voluntary sector landowners.

STRATEGY A five-year strategy 2017-2022 has recently been outlined by the Trustees and three themes inform the work plan beneath it: •

Increase the influence and impact of The Tree Council, through collaboration with member organisations particularly, to add value to their work and to increase their commitment to being active members of The Tree Council

Broaden the core income base, increasing organisational stability, and identify initiatives and partnerships to build reputation and profile

Position The Tree Council in an expert leadership role, supporting the staff team so that the organisation is not reliant on limited distribution of expert knowledge

In 2023 we mark 50 years since Plant A Tree in ‘73 and plans to reawaken that national wave of action will be integral to our five-year strategy.

Chief Executive | The Tree Council | October 2017


MEMBERSHIP The organisations that are members of The Tree Council range from tree experts, professional individuals and corporate trade organisations; tree planting and tree campaigning charities; those with a landscape scale remit; habitat specialist bodies; local and national environmental action and lobbying groups; and charities with social aims through to Local Authorities, government departments and armslength bodies and commercial companies. The principal uniting factor is an interest in, and concern for, the future of the UK’s treescape.

FINANCE AND RESOURCES The Tree Council retains seven staff (5.3 FTE) and at various times, hosts secondees, interns and office based volunteers. Income for Year End 2016 was £375,087, an increase from £334,040 in 2015. The majority of income is currently received from consultancy partnerships and funding from foundations. It also has a small core of unrestricted income from membership and individual donors. Although The Tree Council has faced the same degree of difficulty in attracting income as many other small bodies in the voluntary sector, it has maintained a policy of fiscal probity and currently has unrestricted reserves equivalent to 12 months of core operations.

INCOME 2016 £375,087 INCOME 2015 £334,040


Chief Executive | The Tree Council | October 2017

KEY ACHIEVEMENTS The annual National Tree Week, launched to maintain the enthusiasm generated in 1973, engages millions of people who plant thousands of young trees every year The Tree Council’s acclaimed UK-wide network of 8,000 tree volunteers (Tree Wardens) delivers community action whilst building up a national picture from local perspectives Our partnership with Network Rail enables us to be both advisor and critical friend. We recognise that trees can pose a threat to the safe operation of the network, but promote the importance of linesides as green corridors and collaborate in finding ways to achieve better outcomes When, in 2010, the Coalition government declared that it would plant a million new trees in urban locations, it was the leadership of The Tree Council that united the sector to deliver the touchstone for almost every aspect of the campaign until 2015 The Tree Council is at the centre of social science research on responses to tree disease and is a recognised advisor to national infrastructure providers responsible for the management of linear green space Our continued collaboration with our member organisations to represent and reflect their concerns and coordinate campaigns For more information on The Tree Council please visit:

Chief Executive | The Tree Council | October 2017



LUCY ANN SCOTT A journalist who writes for a number of magazines about nature in an urban context. Lucy has a particular love for London’s ancient trees and appreciates the hard work put into protecting them from devastation caused by nature and man. She finds trees very therapeutic: “When you are in a wood you are transported out of your everyday environment… you feel like you are somewhere else. There is something very calming about being in woodland.”


Chief Executive | The Tree Council | October 2017

CAROLE WRIGHT A Tree Warden and a community gardener, who has played an active part in planting projects such as the Whites Grounds Estate Community Gardens in Southwark where a community orchard has been planted. “Nothing says community more than putting in an orchard or a few trees. The kids can walk by and can say, “I planted that!” Trees are accessible for all; you can plant it, stand back and watch it grow.”

MATTHEW BRADBY Believes planting trees is good for future generations: “We wouldn’t be surrounded by these 150-year-old plane trees if they hadn’t been planted as little saplings 150 years ago. We are getting the benefit of them now and trees that we plant now, people in the future will get the benefit from.”

Chief Executive | The Tree Council | October 2017




Provide collaborative and inspiring leadership and direction; externally, on behalf of the membership and internally, to the staff and volunteers.

Working closely with the Board of Trustees, to be accountable for the development and delivery of strategy and finance, and ensure that the charity complies with relevant legislation and regulations.

Act as an ambassador for the organisation, providing the public face for campaigns and building relationships with member organisations and stakeholders in politics, the media and business. Also play a key role in motivating and engaging beneficiaries and prospective donors.

Position Title

Chief Executive

Staff Team

Programme Director (Technical) Programme Director (Community) Partnerships and Support Services Manager National Community Engagement Manager Administration Officer Finance Manager (consultant)


£60,000 - £65,000


Surrey Quays, London


25 days plus the period between Christmas and New Year Bank Holidays


5% employer contribution within NEST scheme

currently known as Director-General and Company Secretary

Chief Executive | The Tree Council | October 2017


Work with the Chair and Board to develop and implement the organisation’s strategic vision and mission with clear aims and objectives

Understand and effectively communicate the context within which The Tree Council operates to increase influence and impact

Be creative in identifying growth opportunities for the organisation

Ensure that appropriate structures, resources and operational systems are available to turn strategy into reality


Chief Executive | The Tree Council | October 2017

Work with the Chair of the Board to ensure high standards of governance and that the Board fulfils constitutional and legislative requirements

Provide appropriate and accurate management information and other guidance to the Board of Trustees to ensure they have a clear and accurate understanding of the health and performance of the organisation and are able to take informed decisions

Maintain awareness of reputational and organisational risks and changes in the external environment that may affect the organisation and update the Board appropriately

As Company Secretary, ensure the organisation fulfils its legal, statutory and regulatory responsibilities


External Relations •

Act as an ambassador for the organisation demonstrating high standards and credibility with government departments, statutory agencies, media and other third parties Establish new and strengthen existing relationships that build organisational voice and reputation Develop a collaborative advocacy and campaigning strategy that ensures The Tree Council represents the views of member organisations and reflects the priorities back to government, statutory agencies and other third parties Clearly articulate the value and impact of The Tree Council to a diverse range of audiences, partners, collaborators and stakeholders

Leadership and Management •

Provide exceptional leadership, ensuring all staff are inspired, motivated, valued and are performing to their full potential

Establish and monitor key performance indicators of the organisation’s impact and financial health, taking responsibility for planning and monitoring resources to improve organisational deliver

Lead, develop and empower the Senior Leadership Team, delegating appropriately

Ensure the organisation’s staff and office volunteers are focused on achieving the targets set out in the strategy

Finance and Income Generation •

Ensure open communication with the Board on financial and organisational performance, operate within the annual budget and ensure management reporting is up-to-date

Present the annual budget for Board approval and ensure regular reforecasts, and financial and administrative management and reporting systems

Strengthen and grow relationships with current and future donors and partners

Work to ensure a diverse and sustainable income from members, individuals, corporates, legacies and trusts

ATTITUDES Diplomatic and collaborative High energy levels Resilience and tenacity Intellectual agility Highly practical and strategic Resourceful problem solver • Entrepreneurial self-starter

PERSON SPECIFICATION Skills, experience and knowledge •

Successful leadership of an effective organisation or autonomous multidisciplinary department

Experience of staff management and development, financial management and planning, strategic planning and fundraising

Experience of negotiating and influencing at a strategic level, building collaborative relationships and effective partnerships and negotiating with funders

Financial and income generation experience, used to setting and operating a budget and developing activities that provide unrestricted reserves for the organisation

Ability to rapidly assimilate information, grasp new concepts and understand complex situations and relationships

Proven experience building relationships across NGOs, government, academia, media, and with businesses

Substantial experience of working in partnership, in a facilitative and enabling manner, with a wide range of people, communities, groups and organisations

Ability to build relationships with a variety of people, from beneficiaries and staff members to senior corporate executives and opinion formers

Excellent written and verbal communication skills; high level networking, interpersonal and collaboration skills

Public speaking experience, able to write and deliver lucid, engaging and persuasive presentations to a wide range of audiences

Experience of representing an organisation publicly to the media and presenting to a wide range of audiences

Experience of attracting and maintaining commitment from grant makers and other funders; account management

Experience of working with voluntary sector committees or boards

Understanding of maintenance of standards around ethical organisational behaviour and fundraising

Experience of developing high performing teams; motivating staff and volunteers

Fully proficient with Microsoft Office applications including Word, Excel, and Power Point

A genuine affinity with the the natural environment, and the urban and rural treescape


HOW TO APPLY To apply, please forward a CV together with a supporting statement (maximum two pages of A4). Please ensure that you have included mobile, work and home telephone numbers, as well as any dates when you will not be available or might have difficulty with the recruitment timetable. Applications should be made via the Prospectus website at:

RECRUITMENT TIMETABLE Deadline for applications: 24th November Interview with Prospectus: w/c 4th December Panel interview with The Tree Council: 14th or 15th December

QUERIES If you have any questions on any aspect of the appointment process, need additional information or wish to have an informal discussion, please contact Linda Griffiths and Selam Petros on 020 7691 1920 or via email at: or


Chief Executive | The Tree Council | October 2017

ROSALIND SHARPE A volunteer Tree Warden who has had a love for trees since early childhood. She believes that London’s trees are precious and that they should be highly valued in this increasingly busy metropolis. “My respect for trees has grown as I have grown older. They last a lot longer than we do; you think about what a tree has witnessed and what has happened under its branches. I think trees and green spaces are in some way restorative for people; they are calming.”

Chief Executive | The Tree Council | October 2017


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