New Chair of Trustees sought for the Yorkshire Arboretum

by Handymag

After nine years in the role, Professor Alastair Fitter CBE, FRS, will be standing down as Chair of the Castle Howard Arboretum Trust at the end of June 2020.

He says that ‘Leading the Trust and watching the development of the Yorkshire Arboretum since 2011 has been an absorbing and fulfilling task. The past few years have seen the arboretum grow in every sense, becoming better known and increasingly a leader in the field of tree health.’

The board of trustees is now looking for someone to replace Professor Fitter in this important role, and is casting a wide net to find ideal candidates. ‘We know it’s not easy to find people to take up these positions’ said Michael Sturge, chair of the nominations panel ‘and we shall greatly miss Alastair’s good counsel, but we’re determined to find the right person. A love of trees and the environment, coupled with leadership experience and a willingness to get involved in fundraising and all aspects of the arboretum’s life are key things we’re looking for.’ A full role description is available on the Yorkshire Arboretum’s website.

The Yorkshire Arboretum was started in 1979 and has been managed by the Trust since 1996. Its collection of over 10,000 trees and shrubs is set in 120 acres of attractive parkland adjacent to Castle Howard, in the rolling landscape of the Howardian Hills, North Yorkshire. Now attracting 30,000 visitors annually, it has become a noted destination for tree-lovers, school visits and anyone who just wants a peaceful walk in a quiet place – or a bite in the highly regarded Arboretum Café.

Alastair Fitter notes ‘The arboretum team – staff and volunteers – have done so much to enhance the arboretum, putting in new paths, dredging the lake and planting thousands of new trees. We have been able to invest in machinery, facilities, and staff to enable us to care for and develop the collection and site. Two ambitious projects are underway in 2020 – building the UK’s first specialist tree health training centre and creating an enclosure for a colony of Red Squirrels, both of which will greatly add to the Trust’s stature. I know that this wonderful place will go from strength to strength.’

The Yorkshire Arboretum is located opposite the entrance to Castle Howard and is open from 10am – 4pm every day from 1st March – 30th November, with extended opening at weekends from 1st May – 31st October. In addition to the 120 acre garden of trees, there’s a children’s woodland playground, a café offering delicious home-cooked seasonal food and drink and a gift shop. Well-behaved dogs are welcome. Admission is £7 for adults, £3.50 for juniors (12-16) and £17.50 for families. Under 12s are admitted free. Find out more at

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