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Chair and Trustees x 3 Earth Trust

An exciting opportunity to be the next Chair or Trustee of Earth Trust and help champion accessible natural green spaces to help people connect with nature and the environment to inspire climate, biodiversity and well-being.

  • Location: Earth Trust Centre, Little Wittenham, Oxfordshire.
  • Salary: Unremunerated but reasonable expenses will be reimbursed.
  • Closing date: CLOSED FOR APPLICATIONS

Who we are

For 40 years Earth Trust has been providing, demonstrating and championing accessible natural green space and running inspiring, award-winning programmes to help people connect with nature and the environment.

Earth Trust’s purpose is to inspire people to address climate, biodiversity and well-being with the power of natural green spaces. Our mission is to champion access and engagement with natural green spaces for everyone so that together we take action for people and the planet.

It has never been more critical to provide access to green space and to engage people deeply with nature – both for their own wellbeing and to inspire action to protect the natural world for the future. Click here to view our recent Impact Report.

Earth Trust are the guardians of some extremely special places, rich in nature and heritage. We are the owner and farmer of the largest freely accessible natural green space landscape in Oxfordshire – Wittenham Clumps: 500 hectares of farmland, woodlands wildflower meadows and wetlands. We also manage and promote accessible natural green spaces close to where people live including Thrupp Lake in Radley with Tuckwells, and Abbey Fishponds in Abingdon, Wallingford Castle Meadows and Riverside Meadows funded by District Councils.

We are thriving and expanding environmental education programmes, welcoming more than 4,000 school children a year, mainly at the Earth Trust Centre utilising our Earth Lab, a recently constructed award-winning, vision into a sustainable future. Through our public programme, we host a calendar of events and work with communities through funded projects.

In line with our strategy and purpose, we are increasing our influence, working with partners, and becoming bolder as we speak up for people’s access and engagement with green spaces.

Our work has never been more critical than now. In May 2022, we launched our 2022-2027 strategy – Connecting Communities for Change – signalling our commitment to shaping our environmental impact for diverse communities. Our 5-year strategy focuses on movement building, influence and cause-led engagement that seeks to drive real-world change. Together we have an important role to play in demonstrating, modelling and advocating for green spaces that bring nature and people closer together in the spaces where we all live, work and play.

We seek to do more than ever to ensure we are making a difference where it counts, prioritising our efforts on the big challenges we face, both nationally and regionally. Our Impact Report illustrates this and highlights our areas of focus, which can be viewed in the above link.

We recognise that we need to take more proactive steps to foster greater diversity and are looking to build an inclusive board that can help us achieve this, as well as bring in new skills with a new Chair and Trustees as the organisation develops.

The Board

The Board of Trustees is our governing body and is collectively responsible for ensuring that the charity complies with the governing document and the law, utilising its resources responsibly, and meeting statutory accounting and reporting requirements.

The Board is structured with two sub-committees – Finance and Risk and Health, Safety and Safeguarding. The sub-committees will be reviewed with our new Chair.

There are normally 10 Trustees on the Board but given the organisation’s planned evolution this could be higher. All Trustees have a responsibility to support Earth Trust’s cause and to contribute to transformational change, fundraising and project development activities, using their networks to influence on our behalf.

Trustees contribute to achieving greater impact through the delivery of our ambitious strategy and act as ambassadors, supporting activities and events and be a public face of the charity with the Chief Executive.

Who we are looking for

We are looking for a new Chair and 3 Trustees to bring strategic leadership, commercial awareness, ideas, skills and abilities in a successful ambitious and growing environment to support our development and growth over the next 3-4 years, to become more impactful and financially stable.

Chair:

Our Chair of Trustees will be pivotal to the success of Earth Trust. We are committed to having a stronger and more influential voice, demonstrating green infrastructure that integrates and delivers for people, nature and the climate and working with communities to enable faster change.

Earth Trust is in a period of transition and growth, growing communities to enable change. We have a 5-year development financial model to guide us and we are building our community of supporters and active volunteers, growing our reach through communications and recently launched a new Membership Programme.

Our plans include addressing the infrastructure challenges at our most visited location, the Wittenham Clumps (circa 150,000 visits), and the demonstration of balancing the multiple benefits of access and engagement opportunities of landscape scale and countryside locations. This programme will run as a capital appeal, providing necessary infrastructure, engaging experiences as well as demonstrating food and farming that embraces and trials regenerative agricultural practice –all are fundamental to the success of this programme.

To be successful as our Chair, you will need to bring the following experience, skills and attributes:

  • Willingness to devote the necessary time and commitment to fulfil the duties and responsibilities of Chair with a strong and visible passion and keen interest in Earth Trust, its strategic objectives, cause and values.
  • A successful track record and achievements in senior leadership position/s.
  • Good understanding of governance, legal duties, liabilities and responsibilities ideally as a charity trustee or non-executive director, with experience in effective chairing of a board, committees or other senior meetings.
  • Significant strategic leadership and executive management experience successfully leading an organisation, or major operating division or group, through organisational strategy, change and transformation to secure financial sustainability.
  • Promote and support diversity, equality and inclusion as we grow the charity to inspire people to engage with greenspaces and address climate, biodiversity and wellbeing challenges.
  • Strong financial acumen, with the ability to interpret complex information, comprehend issues and assess risks, incorporating financial management information such as balance sheets, budgets and management accounts.
  • Commercial acumen to consider and support innovative approaches to digital and technology, as well as diversifying income, such as membership strategies, events, programmes, external partnerships and commercial investment. Applicable experience for the charity sector, able to navigate income opportunities towards the Earth Trust’s financial stability.
  • Evidence of ambassadorial and networking skills to represent Earth Trust with professionalism and integrity to help build and develop the profile of the Charity through successful partnerships and working relationships with a range of individuals, organisations and stakeholders locally, regionally and nationally.
  • Excellent leadership, interpersonal, communication and listening skills which encourages collaboration and participation, with the ability to take a robust approach when necessary to build consensus with tact, diplomacy and sensitivity.
  • Commitment to working as part of a team and the ability to motivate and enthuse a wide range of people to deliver Earth Trust’s objectives, mission and vision, to support income generation activities and to encourage a strong fundraising culture across Earth Trust.

Trustees:

We need 3 Trustees with senior professional experience and skills to have special responsibility in the following areas:

  • Qualified accountant with strategic business planning.
  • Green Infrastructure and land management – experience in strategically developing (policy/practice) multi-functional green spaces and environment solutions that deliver sustainable outcomes where people and nature thrive together.
  • Developing engagement and building communities for change – experience of inclusive cultural change, wider participation programmes campaigns and activities that engages a diversity of communitites.

Overall, we seek the following skills, abilities and personal qualifies in our Trustees:

  • Successful track record and achievements in a strategic management position/s.
  • Understanding of governance, legal duties, liabilities and responsibilities as a non-executive, and/or a charity trustee, and with experience of working with a board, committees or other senior meetings.
  • Financial acumen, with the ability to interpret complex information, comprehend issues and assess risks, incorporating financial management information such as balance sheets, budgets and management accounts.
  • Commercial acumen to consider and support innovative approaches to fundraising and diversifying income, digital and technology, membership strategies, external partnerships and commercial investment.
  • Evidence of representative and networking skills to represent Earth Trust with professionalism and integrity and to help develop community engagement and building movements for change with a range of individuals, organisations and stakeholders.
  • A team player with excellent interpersonal, communication and listening skills which encourages collaboration and participation, with the ability to use independent thought but when necessary, support consensus with tact, diplomacy and sensitivity.
  • Enthusiasm and appreciation of the work of Earth Trust with a willingness to devote the necessary time and commitment to fulfil the duties and responsibilities as a Trustee.
  • Experience, or willingness, to support and contribute to fundraising activities and advocating on behalf of an organisation to potential funders and partners.
  • Promoting and supporting diversity, equality and inclusion.

Time Commitment:

All Trustees are appointed for an initial term of three years and are eligible to re-stand for a subsequent term. Members normally serve for two terms in order to ensure a balance of continuity and refresh.

The Board of Trustees normally meets four times a year and in addition, Trustees are encouraged to take on responsibility and actively participate in sub-committees and task groups, attend events and support the executive and staff with specific experience as appropriate.

The Chair will need to give around 3 days per month and Trustees around 2 days per month.


For further information about the role, or to arrange a confidential discussion, please contact our advising consultant at Peridot Partners:

Liz Holderness | liz@peridotpartners.co.uk | 07872 031079

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If you would like to know more about this role please contact Liz Holderness

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About Earth Trust

Earth Trust is an environmental charity with 40 years of experience in caring for and inspiring others with natural green spaces. We believe that we all have a responsibility to care for nature and understand our role within our ecosystem.

Located in the South East and Oxfordshire – Earth Trust is positioned at the sharp edge of creating and managing spaces that enable both people and nature to thrive in balance. Through our projects, we strive for sustainability, balancing people’s access and dependency on natural resources such as food and water with thriving biodiversity and healthy ecosystems.

Purpose, Vision, Mission

We are facing a triple threat of climate change, loss of biodiversity, and massive public health crises, made worse for those in disadvantaged communities who have little or no access to nature.

Our purpose is to inspire people to address these crises through the power of natural green spaces.

Our vision is a society where accessible, engaging green spaces enable nature and people to thrive in balance.

Our mission is to champion access and engagement with natural green spaces for everyone so that together we take action for people and planet.

 

Looking to the future – Our Aims for 2023-24

From ensuring that the amazing green spaces in our care are supporting landscape-scale nature recovery, to reducing barriers to access for under-served communities – we continue to work tirelessly to enable nature and people to thrive in balance while using this work to inspire change at a national level too.

Our supporters have a vital role to play as we look to inspire more people with the power of natural green spaces. We will be launching a new cause-led membership scheme to attract more people to our shared cause –to make our voice heard and to ensure our sustainability into the future. And will be working in partnership with more businesses – including launching a new corporate membership scheme – to help create positive social and environmental impact and boost your employee wellbeing and engagement.

In 2020, we embarked on an ambitious project to develop the Earth Trust Centre to welcome a larger number of visitors and provide a gateway of discovery to the natural green spaces and heritage at Earth Trust. Over the next 12 months, we will continue our work on this, improving our infrastructure (car park, access track, toilets) and identifying partners for the next phase of this exciting development project to transform how we are engaging people with the natural world.

Strategy – Connecting Communities for Change 2022-2027

2022 was significant for Earth Trust as it marked our 40th anniversary, and the launch of our new strategy:

Strategic objectives:

  • Financial – the Earth Trust will move towards financial sustainability in 2024-2025.
  • Environmental – the Earth Trust and its green spaces will be planet-positive by 2030 and demonstrate positive, incremental contributors to climate and ecological emergency.
  • Social – the Earth Trust will be known for engaging people with the environment and with equality, diversity and equity of access.

Our 5-year strategy Connecting Communities for Change – focuses on movement building, influence and cause-led engagement that seeks to drive real-world change.   Over the next 4 years, we seek to do more than ever to ensure we are making a difference where it counts, prioritising our efforts on the big challenges we face, both nationally and regionally.

Financial Summary

A copy of the audited accounts is attached here. The audited accounts for 2022/23 will be signed off at the AGM in December. A copy of the reserves policy is available on request.

Our Future

Our plans are ambitious but achievable with the support of our Board of Trustees. The growth of our loyal community of changemakers, and our strong expertise and willingness to evolve our approach. Together we have an important role to play in demonstrating, modelling and advocating for green spaces that bring nature and people closer together in the places where we all live, work and play.

By 2027, Earth Trust and our diverse community of individuals and partners will be:

  • Leading-edge exemplars of managing accessible engaging green spaces of different scales and diversity – from landscape scale to local urban oasis, from destination to doorstep – all rich in nature and demonstrating nature-based solutions.
  • Ensuring everyone has access: Modelling the highest standards of green space accessibility, equity, equality and inclusion across all our green spaces and sharing our learning with others.
  • Making our voice heard: Influencing to ensure that access to green space is written into all future housing developments, starting in Oxfordshire and wider afield in future, and working with the development industry to explore and illustrate building nature into lives and livelihoods.
  • Engaging more people – in more ways – with the natural world: with a destination hub of activity, experience, conversation, learning and skills, with the infrastructure in place to enable and support the needs of diverse audiences.
  • Financially sustainable and demonstrating new operating models of financial sustainability for other land managers of green space and farmland.
  • On our way to Net Zero/Carbon Neutral and sharing our learning.

For further information about the role, or to arrange a confidential discussion, please contact our advising consultant at Peridot Partners:

Liz Holderness | liz@peridotpartners.co.uk | 07872 031079

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    Thank you for your interest in this role. Please download the appropriate Role Description and Person Specification.

    Chair Role Description and Person Specification.

    Trustee Role Description and Person Specification.

    To formally apply, please submit a CV and supporting statement (ideally maximum 2 sides of A4 each) that clearly outlines your suitability for the role against the criteria provided in the person specification, including your interest and motivation in applying for this position.

    Please ensure that your application is emailed to response@peridotpartners.co.uk inserting “Earth Trust – Chair (or) Trustee” into the subject field.

    For further information about the role, or to arrange a confidential discussion, please contact our advising consultant at Peridot Partners:

    Liz Holderness | liz@peridotpartners.co.uk | 07872 031079

    As a sector-leading executive search consultancy, we know the importance of creating recruitment processes which are fair, inclusive and free from bias. We are committed to promoting equality and diversity and developing a process that values differences.

    If you have a disability that meets the definition set out in the Equality Act 2010, and you can show that you meet the ‘essential’ criteria described in the person specification, please let us know.

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    Timetable

    CHAIR:
    This is an open recruitment process. We are moving to interview as soon as we receive enough suitable interest, and we will be in touch as soon as possible regarding the next steps.

    TRUSTEES:
    Closing date: Monday 4th December 2023
    First stage interviews: w/c 11th December 2023
    Final stage interviews: January 2024 (date to be confirmed)


    Equal Opportunities Monitoring

    Peridot and Earth Trust are committed to promoting equality and diversity. To help us raise awareness and support a culture that is diverse and recognises and develops the potential of all, we need to appreciate the profile of candidates who apply for positions. We will send you an equality monitoring survey at the point of receiving your application, in the interview phase and at the time of placement. This ensures that our processes remain inclusive and equitable throughout, and provides us with important data to help us showcase our impact. The information will be treated confidentially and anonymously and will help us to support our commitment to fair recruitment practice. All information provided will be held in the strictest confidence and will not be shared with anyone, in line with the new Data Protection Act 2018 launched on 25 May 2018. The information provided does not form part of the decision-making process and will not affect your application.


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