Steve is a consultant with over 30 years’ experience of direct marketing, recurring revenues, ecommerce and senior management within the media and publishing sectors.
His passion for the Heart of England Forest stems from growing up in Solihull and spending many weekends in the surrounding area. This love of the countryside was also fuelled by numerous holidays with grandparents in mid-Wales, walking in the woods, picking wild fruit and visiting relations on working farms.
With a degree in Environmental Studies, Steve’s original plan was to work in conservation, but circumstances led to a career in marketing, culminating with 10 years at Dennis Publishing, where he worked for Felix Dennis. Having seen the passion and drive behind the early years of the charity, Steve now aims to use his experience to help ensure that the Forest goals are achieved for all.
“I believe that the Forest is something of real value for everyone now, but, most importantly, for future generations locally and nationally.”
Steve was appointed onto the Heart of England Forest Board in February 2018.
Q&A with Steve
Why did you choose to give your time and get involved with the charity?
Having worked for Felix Dennis for 10 years, I watched his vision for the Forest develop and felt strongly that it is such a worthwhile endeavor that I wanted to try and help in some small way.
What expertise do you bring to the trustee role?
I bring my marketing and business experience to the charity.
What aspect of the charity’s work interests you the most?
All of it! Whilst the core objective is to plant and maintain 30,000 acres of native broadleaf Forest, there is so much more in terms of biodiversity, outdoor education, and simply learning how changing the use of our land can give nature a real chance to show us what it is capable of.
How do you think the Heart of England Forest is making the most difference?
Apart from fulfilling the dream of planting trees, the Forest is becoming a centre of excellence in so many ways. But I think the real difference is that so many people can benefit – from simply having space to walk and enjoy the countryside (especially in these troubled times), getting involved in tree planting, volunteering for species monitoring, children being able to learn outdoors and feeling that they are involved in a worthwhile vision.
What are the biggest challenges that you feel are facing the charity over the next 12 months?
I think the challenges over the next 12 months will be the same for many years. Ensuring that the Forest delivers on its goals, but at the same time being able to buy the land that is needed, plant trees within sometimes restrictive bureaucracy, involve people from all walks of life but, most importantly, work side by side with local residents and land owners to ensure everyone can benefit.
What 3 words would you use to describe the work of the Forest?
Environmental, social, essential.