Our governance

Details of Natural England’s governance structures and processes.

Natural England is a non-departmental public body (NDPB) established by the Natural Environment and Rural Communities Act 2006.

Natural England developed its framework document in partnership with its sponsor department, Defra. The document implements the principles set out in the cross-government code of practice for partnerships between departments and arm’s length bodies. The document sets out Natural England’s:

  • purpose and status
  • methods of governance and accountability for its activities
  • ways of working with Parliament, stakeholders, customers and Defra group
  • main duties as an NDPB – for example, the way that it should use and account for public money

Natural England Board

The main roles of the Board are to:

  • provide leadership for the organisation – setting strategy and direction, agreeing objectives and overseeing performance
  • ensure that effective arrangements are in place to provide assurance on risk management, governance, internal control and use of public money

The Board is the decision making body for Natural England. The board retained authority (PDF, 66 KB, 5 pages) sets out the matters that need to come before the Board for decision. All other authority is delegated to the Chief Executive.

Board members

Members act in accordance with the board code of conduct (PDF, 374 KB, 5 pages).

Board committees and groups

The Board delivers its duties through regular formal board meetings and through a small number of statutory and time-limited sub-committees.

Committee terms of reference:

Board meetings

Board meetings in 2022 will be held on:

  • 4 May
  • 29 June
  • 27 July
  • 9 November

Board meetings in 2023 will be held on:

  • 22 February
  • 10 May
  • 28 June
  • 26 July
  • 8 November

Some board meetings are open to members of the public. To register your attendance email naturalenglandcorrespondenceunit@naturalengland.org.uk.

Minutes of board meetings (published after confirmation at next meeting):

The board standing orders (PDF, 45.6 KB, 6 pages) and associated Annex A (PDF, 13 KB, 1 page) detail the procedures which govern the conduct of board meetings.

NE Executive Committee

NE Executive Committee operate within the decision-making framework set out in the: