Former CEO Brendan Joyce OBE

Our previous Chief Executive of Norfolk Wildlife Trust, Brendan Joyce OBE, stepped down from leading the Trust in Spring this year following a 30-year career in conservation.

He said: “I feel very privileged to have been the Chief Executive for the Trust for so long and very proud indeed of all that it has achieved in the past two decades. This is down to the fantastic work and commitment of our staff and volunteers, past and present, but also to all our members, supporters and many other organisations who have stood ready to help when needed. It has been truly wonderful to work for an organisation that attracts so much support and belief in its cause.”

Brendan joined Norfolk Wildlife Trust in 1995 and has seen it through many changes, developments and challenges. Membership has grown from 15,000 to more than 35,500 and thousands of acres of land in Norfolk has been brought back into active conservation management, with land acquisitions and restoration projects.

Education work has grown from a small operation to now reaching many local communities throughout Norfolk. In the last few years an education centre at Cley Marshes was built, 655 acres at Hickling Broad was secured for and NWT celebrated a hugely successful 90th Anniversary.

Brendan Joyce said: “I have been thinking about this for a while and with the Trust in such good condition, now feels the right time. I am ‘stepping down’ rather than ‘retiring’ and will stay committed to conservation wherever I am. Along with the Trustees we are planning a long handover with my successor and I will do all I can to support them as they pick up the reins.”

Chair of the Trustees of Norfolk Wildlife Trust, David Thompson said: “Brendan has achieved a huge amount for the Trust. Whilst we are very sad it is understandably a natural high point in an illustrious career and we wish him very well. He is leaving the Trust in outstanding condition and it is an energised organisation for a new CEO to take even further.”

Brendan added: “I am looking forward to the next leg of my journey in life with a great sense of satisfaction that the Trust is in a strong position to carry on its own journey in pursuit of its vision to achieve a sustainable environment for wildlife and people.”

Wildlife champion receives Queen’s birthday honours

Brendan Joyce was awarded an OBE in the Queen’s Birthday Honours List 2017 for services to nature conservation.

The award was made in recognition of Brendan’s unwavering commitment to protecting Norfolk’s wildlife, in a career of 30 years in conservation that has seen him lead the Trust for 22 years.

Brendan’s vision for Norfolk is to see the future of wildlife protected and enhanced through sympathetic management and crucially that people are connected with and inspired by Norfolk’s wildlife and wild spaces.

On receiving the award he said: "It is an incredible honour to receive this award from our Patron, Her Majesty the Queen.  In recognising my work for Norfolk’s wildlife, it also highlights the work of all those around me at the Trust both staff and volunteers. It also reflects a willingness amongst people in Norfolk to believe in the rights and value of our natural world and I am privileged to champion conservation on their behalf."