Chair of Board

British Trust for Ornithology

Thetford, Norfolk

Volunteer • Part Time

Sectors: conservation & wildlife

Closing date: Friday, 27th May 2022   7 days left

Role title: BTO Chair of Board

Overview information:

Are you passionate about the environment, providing leadership, support and enabling those around you, and keen to make a difference? We are recruiting a Chair of Board to join BTO from 2023, BTO’s Chair works in partnership with our Chief Executive Officer and Senior Leadership Team to play an important role in creating and enabling our organisational strategy.

BTO’s Chair of Board along with 12 brilliant Trustees, each with their own knowledge and experience, have a legal responsibility for BTO, ensuring financial regulatory and monitoring performance. As Chair you will effectively facilitate Board meetings, enabling Trustees the opportunity to contribute to discussions, identify key issues and provide advice, ideas and encouragement on various topics, all of which help BTO to achieve its vision and mission. BTO provides induction and training opportunities to all Trustees to support them to fulfil their role and there will be a full handover and opportunity to talk with our outgoing Chair.

As a Trustee you will ensure that BTO:

  • is effectively and efficiently administered and is financially stable
  • complies with its governing document, charity law, company law and any other relevant legislation or regulations (such as Safeguarding)
  • applies its resources in pursuance of its charitable objectives
  • safeguards its good name and the values of the organisation
  • champions equality, diversity and inclusion and sustainability in line with its priorities
  • Protects and manages its property and ensures the proper investment of the charity’s funds.

We are interested in hearing from people who are passionate about contributing to and are able to demonstrate:

  • Commitment to the mission and values of the BTO
  • Willingness to meet the minimum time requirement as well as contributing outside of Board meetings, through attending events and supporting staff
  • Integrity, vision and good independent judgement
  • Ability to think creatively, make an individual contribution and work effectively as a member of a team to take decisions for the good of the BTO
  • Understanding and acceptance of the legal duties, responsibilities and liabilities of trusteeship
  • Demonstrate passion, understanding and experience for the sector and BTO’s work.

In addition, as the Chair of Trustees you will have relevant experience in and be able to:

  • Hold the Board of Trustees and CEO to account for the Trust’s mission, vision and objectives
  • Provide inclusive leadership and effective Chairing to the Board of Trustees and ensure its effectiveness as a team
  • Ensure that each trustee is supported and fulfils their duties and responsibilities for the effective governance of the trust and fulfils their potential as a trustee, including through annual reviews
  • Work closely with, supporting and, where appropriate, constructively challenging the CEO and ensuring that the Board works closely with the staff to achieve agreed objectives
  • Act as an ambassador and public face of the Trust in close partnership with the CEO
  • Appoint the CEO and review and support their performance.

BTO’s Commitment to Equality, Diversity and Inclusion

We are committed to working towards greater representation on our Board and tackling the barriers to equality, diversity and inclusion (EDI), we welcome applications from people underserved and underrepresented in the environment sector. We are also interested in hearing from people across the UK as we are a national charity as demonstrated by our work and supporter and volunteer base.

If you are interested in supporting our work but perhaps you are early on in your career or think you may not have the breadth of experience required please do not hesitate to get in touch to discuss how we can work with you.

Time Commitment

The Board meets five times a year, in February, May, July, September and November; meetings are normally during the day and held both virtually and in person.


This is a voluntary, unpaid position with expenses reimbursed while travelling to meetings. We are able to compensate for loss of income to remove barriers to people from applying for Trustee roles and in turn enable a more diverse and representative Board.

Find out more:

Sian Knott, Head of People and OD [email protected]

Closing date: Friday 27 May at 1 pm Interview date:  Week beginning 20 June

BTO is a national charity with headquarters at Thetford in Norfolk, and we have offices and staff at the David Attenborough Building in Cambridge, Stirling University, Bangor University and Northern Ireland.

Find out more & apply