Dave Throup, Trustee
Dave has over 35 years experience as an environmental professional, working in both the public and private sectors. Having been at the forefront of managing the rapidly increasing impacts on communities and the environment in his role at the Environment Agency, Dave is a passionate advocate of greater understanding of and action on climate change.
Worcestershire born and bred, Dave has a great understanding of our local environment and the urgent need to restore failing ecosystems and rebuild the connection of communities to nature.
Q&A with Dave
When did you become a trustee?
Why did you choose to give your time and get involved with the charity?
I’ve been a huge fan of the Forest since being given a tour over a decade ago. I love the simplicity of the Vision – to create a 30,000 acre forest in an area that’s in desperate need of it. But while it may be simple, it is of course, extremely challenging to actually deliver. And I like a challenge!
What expertise do you bring to the trustee role?
I’ve got many years of practical experience delivering environmental projects of various types and sizes. Firstly with Severn Trent Water where I was responsible for developing and maintaining large visitor facilities, and later with the Environment Agency where I oversaw many high profile projects from river restorations, flood schemes to fish passes. I’ve also picked up a good understanding of environmental legislation and dealing with contentious environmental issues!
What aspect of the charity’s work interests you the most?
Making the most of the opportunities of the Forest to contribute to our adaptation to and mitigation of climate change. The way that we manage the land and value different land uses is going to have to change dramatically as the inevitable impacts of climate change worsen. The scale and ambition of the Forest’s vision make it an ideal test bed and exemplar to demonstrate the multiple benefits of woodland creation.
How do you think the Heart of England Forest is making the most difference?
Many people and organisations are talking about the need for and huge benefits of landscape scale nature restoration. The Heart of England Forest are actually doing it. Creating and conserving 7,000 acres of beautiful native woodland in an area of mainly intensive agriculture is a fantastic achievement. Not only is it providing a home for wildlife, it’s sucking up and storing carbon, reducing flooding, and providing new opportunities for people to connect with nature.
What are the challenges facing the charity over the next 12 months?
There is currently huge confusion over the future of environmental policy and particularly in how public money will be used to fund changes in land use and the restoration of nature. While that presents challenges to the Forest, there are also big potential wins and opportunities to influence and shape that future.
What 3 words would you use to describe the work of the Forest?
Ambitious. Vital. Inspirational.
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