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Chair and Board Member | CPRE The countryside charity

CPRE The countryside charity

CPRE The countryside charity is looking for a Chair and Board Member as they embark on a new strategy to build new partnerships and find solutions for our countryside's future. We're seeking a Chair with outstanding board leadership and governance experience and a Board Member who is regionally based with a knowledge and passion for the countryside.

  • Location: London
  • Salary: Unremunerated

About the role

Our countryside sustains us in every way. Its beautiful landscapes provide the food we eat and a haven for the nature and wildlife we love. There are pressures on the countryside from irresponsible development, pollution and the climate emergency. If it is going to thrive, it needs our help. Through collaborating with everyone from communities to businesses, landowners and government we can influence effective, balanced and lasting progress towards a countryside that enriches all our lives and contributes to a zero-carbon future.

CPRE, the countryside charity, has been standing up for the countryside for almost 100 years to ensure it is sustainable, promoted, enhanced and protected for all members of our society. We bring determination and passion to motivate others to act. From the Lake District to the South Downs, we’ve supported our breath-taking and awe-inspiring landscapes to win protection as National Parks amongst other significant victories.

As we head towards our centenary, we have a new strategy in place to be able to respond in a meaningful way to today’s pressures on the countryside. We aim to grow our capacity, further promote rural life, empower communities and better connect people with the countryside.

With income of around £4m and just over 50 staff, we are proud to have a high-performing staff team and a dedicated, accomplished and effective Board of Trustees. As our Chair, Su Sayer CBE, completes six years of service in 2020, we are seeking to appoint another outstanding Chair who will lead the board and work with our members, the CPRE network and our exceptional team in delivering CPRE’s vision.

Who we're looking for

Our new Chair will need to have outstanding board leadership and governance experience, yet what will set you apart is your passion and appreciation for our countryside and the opportunities it provides.

Your natural style will be collegiate and collaborative, yet also challenging and able to act as a critical friend when appropriate. You will need to be visible to the CPRE local groups and possess the diplomacy and people skills to work effectively with our members and other key stakeholders; you’ll be an important ambassador for CPRE.

We are looking to appoint an additional Board member, ideally regionally-based, who will add value to the Board through their knowledge and passion of the countryside while providing commercial acumen and entrepreneurial spirit.

The time commitment for Chair is about four days a month, while time commitment for the Board member is one day a month. The term of office is three years and can be extended to six years.

For a confidential discussion please contact our consultants at Peridot Partners:

Jennifer Horan | 07519 070497 | jennifer@peridotpartners.co.uk

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

Closing date: 9am, Monday 13th January 2020

Trustee and board recruitment in the charity sector with Jennifer Horan

If you would like to know more about this role please contact Jennifer Horan

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Dear applicant,

We are delighted that you are considering putting yourself forward to be Chair of Trustees at CPRE, The countryside charity. This will be a vital role at an exciting and critical time for CPRE and the countryside. We have just completed a wide-ranging and in-depth consultation and review of our purpose, culminating in a new brand and strategy for 2020-26. Our countrywide network and national staff team are poised to begin delivery of new projects, partnerships and campaigns to put into practice our positive vision of a beautiful and thriving countryside for all.

You will be joining a vibrant and enthusiastic team, committed to the new strategy and to securing the future for our countryside. CPRE is a charity with strong support, a proud history and, because of some generous legacies, the finance to invest in vital new systems and a robust change programme. Our strategy will see us build on these foundations to radically strengthen support for the countryside, broaden the appeal of our charity and build new alliances and sources of income.

Your fellow trustees have been at the heart of our recent changes and instigated the review of purpose. As our new Chair, you will now lead them as we begin to deliver against the top-level priorities they have set. You will ensure we monitor and review progress while championing our new approach across our network and to the wider public. You will play a vital role in activities to build the influence and high-level support we need to achieve our goals.

There’s some important work to be done, but our trustees are well-supported by the executive team and able to focus on where they can add most value – looking strategically, to the wider world and the longer term. You will enjoy satisfying and well-informed debate and engagement with people from many backgrounds and with a passion for nature, society, the local environment and beautiful landscapes. We know you’ll enjoy it here and very much look forward to meeting you.

Su Sayer
Chair of Trustees

Crispin Truman

Su Sayer

Crispin Truman

“I very much hope you will put yourself forward for Chair of CPRE. I became President because I am passionate about nature and the countryside and CPRE is the only charity campaigning specifically for the countryside we all love and for people to be able to engage with and enjoy it – both as visitors and in rural communities. I have loved working with Su, our Trustees and senior staff on ambitious plans to broaden our appeal and bring younger people to our cause. The new Chair will play a crucial role in making that happen as we build up to the charity’s centenary.”

Emma Bridgewater
CPRE President

To promote, enhance and protect a thriving countryside, for everyone’s benefit

CPRE The countryside charity campaigns to promote, enhance and protect the countryside for everyone’s benefit, wherever they live.

CPRE was established in 1926 with the aim of ensuring everyone could access and enjoy the countryside. We believe that is as important now as it was then – that a beautiful, thriving countryside enriches all our lives.

With a local CPRE in every county, we work with communities, businesses and government to find positive and lasting ways to help the countryside thrive – today and for generations to come.

Which means we can influence effective, balanced and lasting progress in the countryside, finding informed ways forward that enrich all our lives.

We're CPRE, and we stand up for positive progress.

We connect people with the countryside so that everyone can benefit from and value it.

We promote rural life to ensure the countryside and its communities can thrive.

We empower communities to improve and protect their local environment.

Through all our work we look at the role of our countryside in tackling the climate emergency, including seeking ways to increase resilience and reduce impact.

A beautiful and thriving countryside that enriches all our lives


We are inclusive and respectful of everybody, no matter who they are or where they live. Our countryside is for everyone and so are we.


We value lasting and effective relationships. We invite and encourage collaboration to find what is best for the countryside we love.


We use evidence, knowledge and experience to influence positive change. Others believe what we say because they know we can back it up.


We bring ambition and determination to everything we do. We channel our passion to motivate others and encourage them to act.

To access a full job description and application details,
please fill out the form below.


Please download the Role Description and Person Specifications for Chair and Board Member and fill out this Equality Monitoring Form

If you would like an informal conversation about the role you can contact our advising consultants at Peridot Partners:

Jennifer Horan | 07519 070497 | jennifer@peridotpartners.co.uk

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

To apply, please submit a CV and supporting statement (the supporting statement should be a maximum of two sides of A4) that clearly outlines your suitability for the role against the criteria provided in the person specification. It would also be helpful to provide an explanation of your interest and motivation in applying for this position within your supporting statement.

Please ensure that your application is emailed to response@peridotpartners.co.uk inserting “Chair, CPRE OR “Board Member, CPRE” into the subject field.

Disabled applicants are invited to contact us in confidence at any point during the recruitment process to discuss any adjustments or support which are required.


Closing date for Chair: 9am, Monday 13th January 2020
Shortlist: w/c Monday 20th January 2020
Interviews: Tuesday 28th January 2020 (all day)

Closing date for Board Member: Monday 13th January 2020
Interviews: Tuesday 11th February 2020 (all day)

Equal Opportunities Monitoring

Peridot and CPRE 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 would therefore be most grateful if you would complete this equality monitoring form.

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.

We treat all job applicants equally and fairly and do not unlawfully discriminate against them. We do this by ensuring that we operate an open and fair recruitment process, and making decisions using selection criteria which do not discriminate. We will take every possible step to ensure that employees and volunteers are treated fairly, with the aim of creating a culture that respects and values each others’ differences, that is free of discrimination and promotes dignity, equality and diversity.

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