Extension of appointments to the Natural England board

Three board member terms extended

The terms of three members of the Natural England board have been extended.

The appointments of The Rt Hon Lord Blencathra, Catherine Dugmore and Henry Robinson have been extended for up to nine months from 12 March 2024 until 11 December 2024.

These appointments have all been made in accordance with the Ministerial Governance Code on Public Appointments published by the Cabinet Office. All appointments are made on merit and political activity plays no part in the selection process. 

Natural England plays a key role in delivering the government’s environmental priorities. Its purpose is to help conserve, enhance and manage the natural environment for the benefit of present and future generations, thereby contributing to sustainable development.

Biographical details

The Rt Hon Lord Blencathra

Lord Blencathra is a member of the House of Lords where he chairs a Select Committee and is also a member of the Political Affairs Committee of the Council of Europe.

He was formerly Minister of State at the Home Office and a Minister at the Department of the Environment in the 1990s. At the Earth Summit in Rio in 1992, he led for the UK and launched the Darwin Initiative. He formerly represented England’s largest rural constituency as the MP for Penrith and The Border.

Catherine Dugmore

Catherine is a qualified chartered accountant. From 1988 to 2002, Catherine worked at PricewaterhouseCoopers, latterly as an audit partner based in Johannesburg.

For over 20 years, Catherine has worked across a range of public, charity, and healthcare organisations. Since 2012, she has worked across acute, mental health and community settings in the NHS. Catherine is also a board member of Housing 21, a leading not-for-profit provider of retirement living and extra care for older people of modest means.

She was formerly a trustee of Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew and WWF UK, as well as vice chair and trustee of Action for Children and chair of Victim Support.

Henry Robinson

Henry has farmed in the Cotswolds since 1978. He has had various roles at the Country Land and Business Association (CLA), from joining the CLA Council representing Gloucestershire in 1999, to stepping down as President in 2015. He is also currently a trustee of two estates, a trustee of the Hawk and Owl Trust, and chairman of Trustees at Rendcomb.

From: Natural England and Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs