Natural England leaderless as chief steps down

Natural England’s chief executive James Cross resigned on Friday after four years in the role, leaving the regulator without a permanent head

James Cross
James Cross has left the regulator

Natural England’s chief executive James Cross resigned on Friday after four years in the role, leaving the regulator without a permanent head.

For the time being, Marian Spain, chief executive of Plantlife International and Natural England board member, will step up as interim chief while “the recruitment of a permanent successor is carried out”, according to an announcement from DEFRA. She has previously worked at the Environment Agency and the Countryside Agency - a predecessor of Natural England.

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