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Chief Executive Officer Earth Trust

An exciting opportunity to make a positive impact on connecting communities for change as Chief Executive Officer of Earth Trust, the pioneering environmental charity addressing the challenges of climate change, biodiversity and health and well-being through the power of connecting people with natural green spaces.

  • Location: Little Wittenham, Oxfordshire
  • Salary: Contact our consultants for further information
  • Closing date: 9 a.m. Friday 6th September

Who we are.

Earth Trust is the pioneering Oxfordshire environmental charity at the forefront of addressing the challenges of climate change, biodiversity loss, and health well-being through the power of connecting people with natural green spaces.

Earth Trust is dedicated to inspiring people to address the pressing challenges of our time. With a rich history spanning decades, Earth Trust has established itself as a trusted and influential voice, combining scientific expertise with a deep commitment to community engagement and education, demonstrating innovation in thinking and sustainability in everything it does.

Located in Oxfordshire, the 500-plus hectare land holding, which includes the Earth Trust Centre and Farm, serves as a living laboratory for resources, sustainable land management practices, regenerative agriculture, and ecological restoration. In addition, Earth Trust is a partner in managing a growing number of green spaces close to where people live and work. Through inspiring and award-winning public programming, educational initiatives, and collaborative partnerships, Earth Trust strives to foster a deeper connection between communities and the natural world, empowering individuals to take personal action towards a more sustainable future.

Earth Trust is embarking on a transformative strategic capital development programme c.£10 million that will revolutionise its operations and significantly expand its reach and influence and ability for the Trust to become financially sustainable. This project, known as ‘Gateway’, is aimed at commercialising our site. This will enhance our visitor facilities and engagement opportunities, reaching a broader audience and will establish Earth Trust as a national leader in the environmental charity sector.

Who we are looking for?

To realise our vision, we need an exceptional and visionary Chief Executive Officer (CEO) to lead Earth Trust through transformative change into its next chapter of growth and impact. You will take over at a period of major change and challenge for the Earth Trust, so your leadership will be pivotal in shaping the organisation’s strategic direction, cultivating a culture of innovation and collaboration, and driving the successful execution of Earth Trust’s ambitious Gateway development programme.

We seek an exceptional and visionary new Chief Executive to provide strategic leadership, commercial acumen, and innovative ideas to drive our development and growth over the next 5 years. The ideal candidate will help Earth Trust become more impactful and financially sustainable.

Experience in initiating and leading large commercial projects or ventures is required. Your ability to articulate Earth Trust’s compelling mission and forge strategic alliances will be vital in attracting the necessary support to advance our ambitious strategy.

To achieve our vision, you will lead the organisation in securing and generating funds from diverse sources, including grants, corporate partnerships, individual donors, green investments, and innovative financing mechanisms.

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

  • A proven track record of successful executive leadership within a complex, mission-driven organisation achieving growth and impact.
  • Experience leading complex projects and initiatives with a strong understanding of project management, risk mitigation, and sound financial planning and management.
  • Experience working with a Board of Trustees, or equivalent governance structure, at a senior level.
  • Demonstrable success in developing and executing strategic plans, implementing organisational strategies and plans that deliver impact and sustainable growth and achieve ambitious goals.
  • Visionary thought leadership, able to drive ambition and lead organisational development and change.
  • Exceptional communication and interpersonal skills, with high-level influencing skills and the ability to inspire diverse stakeholders and develop strong, collaborative relationships.
  • Established experience of successful fundraising and commercial revenue generation, with a proven track record of securing significant financial support for large-scale programmes (£5 million plus) from diverse sources, including grants, corporate partnerships, individual donors and generating income from assets, programmes and events.
  • An understanding or keen interest in environmental issues, sustainable practices, and the role of green spaces in addressing climate change, biodiversity loss, and community well-being.
  • A collaborative and inclusive leadership style that fosters a culture of innovation, empowerment, continuous learning and high performance.

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

Erica Ritchie erica@peridotpartners.co.uk | 07932 557505

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


If you would like to know more about this role please contact Erica Ritchie

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About Earth Trust

For 40 years, Earth Trust has championed accessible natural green spaces and run inspiring, award-winning programmes that connect people with nature and the environment. Our purpose is to inspire action on climate, biodiversity, and well-being through the power of natural green spaces. Our mission is to ensure everyone can access and engage with these spaces, fostering collective action for people and the planet.

Earth Trust is the guardian of remarkable places rich in nature and heritage. We own and manage Wittenham Clumps, the largest freely accessible natural green space landscape in Oxfordshire, encompassing 500 hectares of farmland, woodlands, wildflower meadows, and wetlands. Additionally, we manage accessible green spaces near urban areas, including Thrupp Lake in Radley, Abbey Fishponds in Abingdon, Wallingford Castle Meadows, and Riverside Meadows, in collaboration with local councils and partners.

Our environmental education programmes are thriving and expanding, welcoming over 4,000 schoolchildren annually to the Earth Trust Centre and Earth Lab, an award-winning model of sustainable future living. Through our public programming, we host events and work on community projects, engaging diverse audiences.

Earth Trust is embarking on a transformative £10 million strategic capital development program. This initiative aims to revolutionise our operations, expand our reach and influence, and ensure financial sustainability. The programme includes constructing visitor facilities and engagement opportunities, supported by infrastructure and access improvements, enhancing our capacity to deliver cutting-edge programming.

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 consultants at Peridot Partners:

Erica Ritchie erica@peridotpartners.co.uk | 07932 557505

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

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

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    Please ensure that your application is emailed to response@peridotpartners.co.uk inserting “Application: Earth Trust – Chief Executive Officer” into the subject field.

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

    Erica Ritchie erica@peridotpartners.co.uk | 07932 557505

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

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    Closing date: 9 a.m. Friday 6th September 2024
    First stage interviews (in person): Tuesday 17th September 2024
    Final stage interviews including site visit (in person): Wednesday 25th September 2024

    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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