Wiltshire Wildlife Trust has announced the appointment of a new CEO. Jo Lewis joins the trust in mid-August from the Soil Association, where she has been policy and strategy director for the last eight years.
This follows the announcement that the current chief executive, Dr Gary Mantle MBE, will retire this year after 33 years of dedicated service and amazing achievement for the wildlife and people of Wiltshire.
Jo comes to the Trust with a wealth of experience and achievement in fields that will be key to the success of the trust’s new 2023-2030 strategy, which was launched last month – environmental policy, developing nature-based solutions, advancing nature-friendly, regenerative and organic farming that also produces healthy, affordable food and promoting sustainable behaviours, especially amongst young people.
Jo is a member of the Food, Farming and Countryside Commission’s ‘Farming Leadership Group’ and of the Food Ethics Council, which she formerly chaired.
Before joining the Soil Association, she was convenor of Defra’s Sustainable Consumption Roundtable and head of policy at think tank Green Alliance, which acts as an umbrella voice for many environmental organisations.
Jo led the ‘Food for Life’ programme, aimed at giving every child the chance to grow and cook food and connect with farms, for nearly a decade.
As part of this programme, Jo founded the ‘Food for Life Served Here’ scheme which now certifies two million healthy and sustainable meals served every day in schools, hospitals and care settings.
Jo said: “I feel so privileged to be taking over the reins from Gary and the Trust, with its inspirational track record of innovation that makes a difference both to nature and to people’s lives.
“I can imagine no more important role right now than leading by example for nature’s recovery in Wiltshire, and proving how to unlock the pace and scale of change we need on the ground.”
The trust will ensure a smooth transition and handover to allow Jo to benefit from Gary’s tremendous knowledge and relationships with its many stakeholders.