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Gloucestershire Business News

New chief executive announced for UK educational charity

Fairford-based outdoor education charity, The Ernest Cook Trust, has appointed its new chief executive.

Ed Ikin is currently director of Wakehurst, Kew's wild botanic garden in Sussex. Ed co-founded Kew's Nature Unlocked programme, which researches the multiple benefits of nature, building successful collaborations across government and the corporate sector. Ed has a background in land management and horticulture, is a Clore Fellow and former chair of London Parks & Gardens Trust.

The Ernest Cook Trust owns and manages extensive rural landholdings across six counties in the UK and uses its income to fund and deliver outdoor learning opportunities to young people, families and their communities, particularly from underserved areas, often working in partnership with other organisations.

Ed said he was delighted to be joining The Ernest Cook Trust at a pivotal moment in its development.

Ed Ikin said: "Access to nature can transform lives and the national debate on land use needs to put people at its core.

"The Ernest Cook Trust is driven by the transformative power of nature and outdoor learning and I'm excited to work with its energised and purposeful team to increase the impact of the trust and ensure more people benefit from its mission.

"I have enjoyed a wonderful eight years with RBG Kew and am profoundly grateful to them for all the opportunities and support they've given me."

Mary Riall, chair of trustees, said: "After an intensive search, we are delighted to appoint Ed Ikin to inspire and lead the organisation. We are sure Ed will be a visionary, ambitious chief executive who will take the organisation forward and build upon its success to date.

"He will lead a committed and driven team that manages our land, investments, grant giving and direct learning activities. He will be in a position to influence the national debate around outdoor learning and access to the environment, whilst enabling others to partner with The Ernest Cook Trust to increase impact and activity across the UK."

Ed will join the trust in mid-December, which will continue to be led by interim chief executive, Dr Ian Gambles. Dr Gambles has held the role during the period of compassionate leave of Dr Victoria Edwards OBE, who leaves the organisation in October after almost seven years as chief executive and after sixteen years of commitment and exceptional contribution to the trust.

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