Chief Operating Officer

Guy Thompson

Guy  Thompson



Guy Thompson is Chief Operating Officer of Natural England, the government’s expert advisor on the natural environment. Guy was part of the executive team that vested Natural England from a three-way merger in 2006. Since then, he has served in a variety of roles in on its senior executive team including at various times leading its external affairs, marine programme and development of strategy for Common Agricultural Policy reform. He served as Interim Chief Executive in 2015 before taking up his current role.

Guy is an active member of the Institute of Directors and is working towards becoming a Chartered Director, having recently gained the IoD’s Diploma in Company Direction. He is a member of the Association of Chief Executives and a Fellow of both the Royal Society for the encouragement of Arts, Manufactures and Commerce and Forum for the Future.

Guy came to Natural England with a track record in thought leadership and advocacy on the environment. Formerly, Director of Green Alliance and a Board Member of the European Environment Bureau, he has held senior roles with Forum for the Future and the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds.

Chief Operating Officer

The COO is responsible for the leadership of 14 area teams delivering Natural England’s outcomes across the breadth of its remit and for the national teams that support its delivery and enable innovation and strategic change.

Responsibilities include:

  • delivering Natural England’s Conservation Strategy (Conservation 21) in places as a local convenor and environmental leader (on land, coast and at sea)
  • bringing alive Defra’s strategy and joint working across the Defra Group at a local level
  • managing Natural England’s reputation and profile at a local level
  • gathering intelligence to inform policy development and strategy development
  • developing better ways of doing things
  • delivering cultural change associated with our organisational reforms