Westcountry Rivers Trust has announced the appointment of Dr Laurence Couldrick as Chief Executive Officer. Previously Director of Policy and Development at the Trust, which celebrated its 20th Anniversary last year, Laurence steps in to the position of CEO with a strong vision for the next 20 years.

“In my 12 years so far at Westcountry Rivers Trust it has always been an inspirational place to work and I’m delighted to have been given the opportunity to lead such a dynamic and passionate team of people. The Trust’s work has always focused on delivering environmental protection and improvements in the wider landscape, outside of protected areas. This means working with the people who live in, work in, own and manage that landscape. People are at the centre of everything we do.”

Laurence joined the Trust during its formative years, when his focus was on developing the Trust’s educational programme and work for the Trust’s consultancy arm. A qualified teacher with a PhD in biomechanics, Laurence has been instrumental in the growth of Westcountry Rivers Trust, moving from education to Head of Catchment Management. During this time, he has led the way in delivery of the ‘ecosystem services’ approach to protection and improvement of the environment and oversaw pioneering work on ‘Payments for Ecosystem Services’ as a mechanism for funding environmental improvement.

“We’ve achieved a huge amount in our first 20 years, delivering projects and developing new approaches to landscape scale environmental improvement throughout the South West. The Trust has a clear vision of what a healthy and sustainable future looks like for rivers, landscapes, people and wildlife. Looking forward to the next 20 years, my job is all about leading Westcountry Rivers Trust towards realising that vision.”

Charles Huntington-Whiteley, Chairman of the Board of Trustees, said, “Laurence has that rare combination; he is both an original thinker and a strategist. I speak on behalf of the Trustees when I say that I am delighted he has accepted the position of CEO. We are very much looking forward to working with him in the coming years, as the Trust builds upon its vital work to improve the west countries’ rivers that we love so much.”