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Gloucestershire Business News

Outdoor learning charity seeks trustee with head for figures

Leading educational charity The Ernest Cook Trust is looking for a new trustee to join its mission of engaging young people with the environment.

The 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 communities, often working in partnership with other organisations.

Now the charity is looking for an addition to the board of trustees, who has a finance background, which will complement the talents of the current members.

In particular, the trust, headquartered in Gloucestershire, wants to recruit a finance professional with experience of investment portfolio management, an appreciation of the opportunities presented by a portfolio of financial and land-based assets, and a working knowledge of accounts with practical experience of budget management and financial control.

The trusteeship is a paid role and - as the trust's ethos is 'everything is better outdoors' - applicants must enjoy being outside, often in wellies!

Mary Riall, chair of the board of trustees of The Ernest Cook Trust, said: "As landowners, farmers, funders and deliverers of outdoor learning activities, we want to inspire more young people to achieve better life outcomes as we pursue our vision of a more environmentally engaged society with better connections to nature."

The newest trustee, Ian Pigott, who joined the board in September last year, said: "I feel very privileged to have joined The Ernest Cook Trust as a trustee. To be part of such a unique organisation at a time when society is recognising the huge benefits of outdoor learning is incredibly rewarding.

"I continue to be inspired by the sense of team, drive and commitment of all involved with the trust."

The programmes run by The Ernest Cook Trust include funding the employment of outdoor learning officers who promote the benefits of getting outdoors to young people and their communities.

Under its Outdoor Essentials scheme, grants are given to schools across the UK, to fund activities and equipment to get children learning outdoors. Through The OWL Collaboration, the trust funds outdoor weeks of learning for young people to explore nature whilst living and learning together, in particular those from underserved areas of the country.

In 2021, the trust bought Low Beckside Farm, in Cumbria, rescuing it from threat of closure as a centre for teaching agricultural students. Partnerships have been formed with local colleges, and a farming apprenticeship scheme has recently been launched, which will be based at the farm.

For more information about The Ernest Cook Trust and the trustee role, visit  

The deadline for applications is May 4, 2023.

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