FORMER CLA president and landowner Sir William Worsley has been appointed “tree champion” to drive forward the Government target to plant 11million trees as part of the 25-year Environment Plan.

He will also work with Defra and Forestry Commission on the design of future environmental land management policy outside the EU and promote the Government’s woodland creation schemes.

Sir William, who lives in Hovingham, was CLA President from 2009 to 2011.

CLA director North Dorothy Fairburn said: “We welcome Sir William’s appointment. It comes at a critical time where his leadership and experience will cut through the current political uncertainty.

“Sir William has a strong track record in the industry and is about passionate forestry. His woods at Hovingham have won many awards for forestry and conservation, making him a perfect match for this important role.”

Christopher Price, CLA director of policy and advice, said: “The appointment of a former CLA president will help realise the Government’s ambition to increase our treescape for future generations.

“Sir William understands completely how farmers and landowners work to maintain and enhance forestry and woodlands.

"We are confident that with him at the helm, Brexit will bring opportunities to reward land managers for providing these public benefits for the good of the nation.”