A headshot of Steve smiling.

Meet the team: Chief Operating Officer Steve

31 January 2024
Heart of England Forest

Creating and conserving England’s largest new native broadleaf woodland would not be possible without our dedicated and hardworking team. Meet Steve Eddy, Chief Operating Officer and Acting Chief Executive.

Joined the charity

October 2022 

Role at the charity

Chief Operating Officer and Acting Chief Executive 

Steve was born in Cornwall and is proud of his heritage and links to that special part of the world. He qualified as an accountant in 1997, and he honed his skills whilst working for companies such as British Gas, Avis, and Walkers Crisps. During the second half of his career so far, Steve has worked in a variety of leadership roles for charities. 
These two halves were split by a 15-month around the world trip, where he learned vast amounts and had experiences that have given him stories and memories he will treasure.  

“I’m incredibly passionate about the joys of nature and benefits to mental health that spending time in the great outdoors bring. Although I miss the Cornish sea, the Forest and its wide range of habitats give me a great chance to work in the natural world, with a new view every day – and anything that gets me away from my desk is a bonus.” 

Recently Steve was appointed as Acting Chief Executive, ensuring the charity's continued growth and stability. His appointment enables uninterrupted progress of our vital mission during the search for a new permanent Chief Executive.

An autumn sunrise over a variety of habitats in the Forest


What is a Chief Operating Officer (COO) and what role does that play in the Heart of England Forest?  

A COO helps an organisation run smoothly, so that nothing gets in the way of delivering the mission. If a COO and their team do a good job, then they almost become invisible. In my current role, my day can include anything from dealing with high-flying lawyers to making sure that the internet works in our farm buildings. 

What expertise do you bring to the Heart of England Forest? 

A mix of technical skill, charity knowledge, and governance experience (not least from being the Chair of Trustees at a multi-academy trust) but, more importantly, an open and collaborative leadership approach. I hope to be the COO that people actually want to talk to. 

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

The chance to develop a range of habitats that try to address years and years of biodiversity decline. 

What are the challenges facing the charity over the next 12 months? 

Making sure we remain financially stable in a challenging environment, and working with our nature-focused partners to strengthen our joint messaging. 

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

Vital, inspiring, hopeful.

As the Forest grows, so does our impact. If you share our passion and enthusiasm for nature, take a look at our highlights from 2022/23