Jon Snow in a suit and tie with grass and trees in the background

Jon Snow, Chair of Trustees

Jon Snow is a journalist who anchored Channel 4 News for over 30 years. As close friend of founder Felix Dennis, Felix himself asked Jon to take up the Chairmanship of the Heart of England Forest.

“I am an enthusiast for the Forest, not only because I love trees, but because I want to develop an amenity for the West Midlands. I care passionately about the need to combat climate change, and the Heart of England Forest is perfectly placed, as the Lung of the West Midlands, and a breath of fresh air for the nation.”
Jon Snow standing in front of a wooden panelled wall wearing a suit and tie.

As well as a strong background in journalism, Jon has a wealth of experience in the voluntary and community sector. He was Chair of the New Horizon Youth Centre (a charity supporting homeless young people) from 1986 to 2016, was a joint trustee of the National Gallery and Tate Gallery from 1998 to 2008, and is a trustee at the Longford Trust, which provides prisoners with the opportunity to study for university degrees.


Q&A with Jon

When did you become a Trustee?

July 2014


Why did you choose to give your time and get involved with the charity?

I have been fascinated by trees since I was a child growing up in the oak woods of the Sussex Weald. By chance, later, I became a close friend of Felix Dennis – the founder of the Heart of England Forest. When he asked me if I would become the Chair of the charity, I was totally delighted and have loved being involved ever since. 


What expertise do you bring to the trustee role?

I have been fortunate both to have worked for a charity – the New Horizon Youth Centre - and to have had the experience of being a trustee for several charities over the years. So, I do feel well seasoned in charity board activity.


What aspect of the charity’s work interests you the most?

Inevitably the expansion and maintenance of the Forest, but equally the administration of it.


Where/how do you think the Heart of England Forest is making the most difference?

I believe that the Heart of England Forest is not only providing an increasingly important lung for the people of the Midlands, but also soak to address the nation’s pollution. I am confident that as the Forest expands, so will these benefits.

What are the biggest challenges that you feel are facing the charity over the next 12 months?

I believe inevitably that the COVID-19 pandemic will affect those who wish to use the Forest, and to some extent those who work in it. These effects will be less seen in the Forest itself than in the environment around us, but we will of course continue to take extra precautions for the benefit of our staff, volunteers and supporters.


What 3 words would you use to describe the work of the Forest?

Extraordinary, amazing, green.


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