RSPB appoints Beccy Speight as chief executive

She joins from the same role at the Woodland Trust and will take over from Mike Clarke, who is leaving after 30 years with the wildlife charity

Beccy Speight
Beccy Speight

The RSPB has appointed Beccy Speight as its next chief executive.

The wildlife charity said Speight, who is chief executive of the conservation charity the Woodland Trust, would take over from Mike Clarke, who is stepping down after 30 years with the charity, the past nine as chief executive.

Speight has been at the trust since 2014 and previously spent 14 years at the National Trust, latterly as a regional director.

An RSPB statement said Speight had led a period of refocus and expansion at the Woodland Trust and helped grow income by more than 35 per cent.

Speight said in a statement: "The fight to save nature has never been more important and the RSPB is uniquely positioned to make a difference.

"This is an interesting and challenging time for the charity. I'm looking forward to getting started in my role and helping to lead our great contribution." 

Kevin Cox, chair of the RSPB, said: "The organisation has undergone a period of significant change over the past year and Beccy’s outstanding track record, personal qualities and commitment to the cause of nature conservation will ensure the charity continues to move forward with confidence."

An RSPB spokeswoman said Speight’s start date had not yet been set but the charity hoped she would join by the end of the summer. Clarke’s departure date is also yet to be agreed.

The spokeswoman said she had no details on what Clarke planned to do after leaving the RSPB.

Asked how much Speight would be paid to lead the RSPB, the spokeswoman said the charity’s salaries for all staff were set within pay bands that had been benchmarked against comparable roles at other charities.

She said the salary band for the chief executive role was between £131,309 and £175,879, although she said the charity had set the salary "at the bottom of that pay band, consistent with the RSPB pay policy".

The charity’s accounts for the year to the end of March 2018 show that total benefits received by the charity’s chief executive, including employer pension contribution and national insurance, were £145,683 in 2017/18.

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