Andrew Sells has been announced as the preferred candidate to become chairman of Natural England.
A qualified chartered accountant, Mr Sells co-founded a venture capital business and then began his non-executive career with Linden Homes, a company which he chaired from start-up.
He recently retired as chairman of the Garden Centre Group (formerly Wyevale) and has held trustee roles with the Royal Horticultural Society and the Policy Exchange (since 2007).
?He is currently chairing a Department of Work and Pensions task force.
Mr Sells lives on a small farm in north Wiltshire where he has planted thousands of young trees and created acres of wildlife habitat. His father was a very early conservationist who built the original lakes for the RSPB at Sandy, and later restored the water gardens at Balmoral and Capability Brown’s lakes at Stowe.
The EFRA Select Committee will hold a pre-appointment hearing and report on Mr Sells’ suitability for the post in due course. He was put forward for the role following a selection process chaired by an independent assessor from the Commissioner for Public Appointments.