The announcement comes as Sir Harry Studholme’s time as Forestry Commission chair ends after seven years in post.
Sir William Worsley will step down as the government’s Tree Champion, a position he has held since June 2018, when he takes on his new role.
Commenting on his appointment, Sir William said:
“Trees, woods and forests are so important to us – improving our landscapes, helping capture carbon, improving our general wellbeing and providing a renewable resource in the timber they produce.
“It couldn’t be a more exciting time to join the Forestry Commission. As chair, my aim will be to celebrate, protect and deepen the impact of its excellent work, not only for the sake of our environment but also for the huge benefits that our success brings for society.”
Sir William will take up the role on 10 February and will be in post for three years.
He currently holds the posts of chair of the National Forest Company as well as chairman of the Howardian Hills AONB Joint Advisory Committee. He will be standing down from his role as National Forest Company chair in May to allow for a new chair to be reappointed.
Once Sir Harry’s term ends, he will be working on a range of projects in alternative energy, carbon capture and climate change mitigation as well as managing his own forestry and farming interests in Devon.