News EKN announces new Board Chair

EKN announces new Board Chair

Ecosystems Knowledge Network is delighted to announce environmental business leader Chris Fry as the new Chair of its Board of Trustees. He will now lead the oversight of this award-winning charitable forum that is charting new and positive ways of responding to our nature and climate challenges.

At EKN, we play a vital role in equipping professionals to resolve our nature and climate challenges in a positive, inclusive, and enterprising manner. I am delighted to take this role as the organisation expands its role as a trusted place for learning and sharing of innovation.”

Chris Fry, EKN Board Chair

Chris Fry added: “Ecosystems Knowledge Network has a refreshingly positive response to the prevailing storyline of environmental doom and decline. This is because it highlights the positives of what a restored environment can do for people and nature. Throughout the UK, we see fantastic innovation in environmental stewardship that is good for businesses big and small, as well as supporting the needs of local communities. The Network’s mission is to make this innovation known so it becomes the norm and not the exception.”

Chris succeeds Sarah Jane Chimbwandira, Chief Executive of Surrey Wildlife Trust, who served as Board Chair of Ecosystems Knowledge Network from 2020 to 2023. He is supported by a well-qualified team of trustees familiar with environmental policy and practice throughout the UK.

Ecosystems Knowledge Network Director, Dr Bruce Howard, who has led the organisation’s operations since its inception in 2011, said “I am looking forward to working with Chris Fry in order to fulfill our charitable mission. We are all about harnessing the potential of an inclusive and impartial network in which expertise and insight is shared across the borders of the UK and between the boundaries of different interest groups.”

Sarah Jane Chimbwandira said: “Ecosystems Knowledge Network is a uniquely positive initiative supporting hundreds of local environmental initiatives throughout the UK, as well as many other organisations with a stake in securing the value of nature. It has been a pleasure to serve it as a trustee and look forward to seeing it grow from strength to strength.”

Chris Fry is an entrepreneurial business leader and charity trustee drawing on two and a half decades of experience working across the natural environment, the built environment and the green economy. In 2019, he co-founded strategy and sustainability consultancy Accelar Limited to help accelerate the green transition. Chris is a Chartered Director and Fellow of the Institute of Directors.  His previous roles include leadership positions with Ramboll UK, Temple Group, AEA Technology and the Transport Research Laboratory.

Notes on Ecosystems Knowledge Network (EKN)
  • Initiated by HM Government in 2011 in collaboration with devolved government and public agencies. It shares know-how on how to harness the value of a healthy natural environment for wellbeing and prosperity.
  • Provides advice, learning opportunities and insight, drawing on the expertise and successes of its diverse membership of over 3,000 professionals within and beyond the environment sector.
  • Leads the Nature Finance UK Conference, the largest gathering of professionals seeking to advance an increased role for private finance in the stewardship of land, water and nature.

  • A registered charity, serving all of England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland, with an emphasis on sharing know-how and innovation across borders within the UK and between sectoral and professional divides.
  • In 2021 it was the winner of the best practice in knowledge sharing award of the Chartered Institute for Ecology and Environmental Management.
  • Profiles of the staff and the Board of Trustees are found here.